There were two cases of theft and another case of attempted theft by Chinese nationals on Vietnam Airlines flights in just the last month.
On May 8, a Vietnamese passenger on a HCMC-Hong Kong flight complained to the cabin crew when the plane was landing that he had lost $300 and HK$2,700 ($344) from his luggage.
The chief flight attendant reported the incident to local police. Two other Vietnamese passengers said they saw a man steal the cash and filmed it on their phones. On checking the accused man, officers found the money on him.
The second theft took place on a flight from the south central resort town Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City on May 26 when a passenger filmed a person opening a handbag in the overhead compartment and rummaging through it.
He immediately reported the incident to the flight crew who asked passengers sitting close to the Chinese man to check their luggage. One of them said he had lost a wallet containing VND30 million ($1,281) and some bank cards.
The crew handed the accused man over to security authorities at Tan Son Nhat Airport. The Tan Binh District police said he is in custody pending further investigation.
An attempted theft occurred on a flight from Jakarta to HCMC, when a passenger was caught rummaging through a bag in the overhead compartment.
When an attendant approached, he quickly put away the luggage and went to the toilet. The owner of the luggage said nothing was missing.
Several Chinese nationals have been caught for thefts aboard flights in Vietnam in recent years, but authorities have yet to take effective measures to stop this.
A Vietnam Airlines spokesperson said staff are being trained to be more alert.
The carrier also warns passengers not to keep money and other valuables in their cabin baggage.
Theft is a criminal offense in Vietnam if the value exceeds VND2 million ($87).