Chinese passengers accuse Vietnam's customs officers of soliciting bribes: report

By VnExpress   May 30, 2017 | 04:55 pm GMT+7
Chinese passengers accuse Vietnam's customs officers of soliciting bribes: report
Cam Ranh International Airport. Photo by VnExpress/Doan Loan

Police say camera footage from Cam Ranh Airport appears to tell a different story.

Police at Cam Ranh International Airport in central Vietnam are following up on allegations made by three Chinese passengers who claimed that customs officers at the airport had tried to extort money from them.

The passengers said the incident took place while they were finishing procedures to board a flight back to China from Khanh Hoa Province on Monday night, the official paper of the province reported Tuesday.

However, camera footage captured at the airport tells another story, a senior police officer was quoted as saying in the report.

In the video, the Chinese family was with customs officers for just 12 seconds before they suddenly turned around and walked away, later accusing the officers of corruption, he said.

The reported cited the police as saying that the group refused to cooperate with customs officials, and the incident caused them to miss their direct flight to China.

Airport authorities arranged for them to take the next flight to China on early Tuesday morning, but they insisted on staying in Vietnam saying that they will only talk with the Chinese Consulate-General in the country, according to the report.

Cam Ranh Airport police said they would make arrangements for the group to talk with the consulate via phone, and that they have already reported the incident to higher authorities.

The airport has been a hub of Chinese passengers in recent years, from where they would travel to the popular resort town of Nha Trang.

At present, there are between seven and 10 flights between China and Khanh Hoa Province per day. Each flight can carry between 150 and 180 passengers.

Last year, a security guard at the airport was fined $450 for punching a Chinese passenger in the back after this man shouted in anger for waiting too long for his flight, which was delayed due to air traffic issues.

More than 284,000 Chinese visitors arrived in Khanh Hoa in the first three months this year, an increase of 260 percent against the same period last year, official data of Khanh Hoa showed.