A Vietnamese man has been summoned for a working session with aviation authorities to verify whether or not he had groped a female passenger and a flight attendant on board a Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City flight last week.
The Northern Airports Authority has asked Vu Anh Cuong and the stewardess, as well as relevant individuals, to cooperate in a working session for further verification of the alleged sexual harassment, a source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper said on Monday.
However, Cuong is currently unable to show up as he is on an overseas business trip, according to the source.
Cuong was among the passengers of the Ho Chi Minh City-bound flight VN253 operated by Vietnam Airlines on Friday afternoon.
The man flew business class and was drunk when he boarded the flight at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.
As the plane was preparing to take off, Cuong allegedly groped a female passenger before sexually harassing a female flight attendant, according to a report made by the flight crew.
The flight crew then asked Cuong to leave the aircraft as he was unable to control his behavior under the influence of alcohol.
The request is in line with a transport ministry circular on aviation safety.
The man was then escorted back to the airport terminal.
The cabin crew booked the case and submitted the report to the Northern Airports Authority the following day.
Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), confirmed to Tuoi Tre he had ordered the verification of the case.
“Suitable punishment must be imposed upon the offender if there is sufficient evidence,” Thang stated, adding that the CAAV may consider imposing a temporary flight ban on him if he is found guilty.
Thang also requested the Northern Airports Authority to find out how Cuong was able to pass airport security checks while he was under the influence of alcohol, which violated the transport ministry’s regulations.
The incident has captured a lot of attention on social media over the past days.
Local media outlets have reported that Cuong is a real estate businessman.