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Australian authorities question Vietnamese flight attendants over suspected money laundering

Australian authorities question Vietnamese flight attendants over suspected money laundering

Saturday, June 18, 2022, 15:09 GMT+7
Australian authorities question Vietnamese flight attendants over suspected money laundering
This image, extracted from a video clip of Australia's 7News, shows the Vietnamese passports and money of nine Vietnam Airlines flight attendants who were questioned by Australian authorities on May 23 over suspected money laundering.

Nine flight attendants of Vietnam’s national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines have been interrogated by Australian authorities on suspicion of money laundering as they had brought a lot of cash out of Australia, Vietnam’s central aviation agency reported.

These flight attendants have been questioned after they allegedly brought a total of AU$60,000 (some US$41,600) hidden among their personal luggage, a leading official at the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday.

Earlier, Australia’s 7News channel reported that nine flight attendants of an airline had been questioned by Australian authorities during a raid by the Australian border force and police.

7News did not mention the name of the carrier or personal details of the attendants who were suspected to commit money laundering.

After conducting a verification of the news, Vietnam Airlines determined that these attendants are its staff, the CAAV official said.

Australian authorities interrogated the nine attendants at 11:00 am on May 23 and they later allowed eight of them to fly back to Vietnam later during the day.

The remaining attendant was further questioned until 6:00 pm of the same day and was permitted to return to Vietnam on the next day.

Australian authorities have yet to report the case officially to the CAAV, the agency said.

Considering the incident’s developments, the CAAV official assumed that the incident was not too serious, as all the questioned attendants have been allowed to leave Australia for Vietnam.

The CAAV is waiting for a detailed report from the carrier about the happenings, the official said.

Under Australia’s regulations, every foreigner bringing along AU$10,000 ($6,935) or an equivalent amount in other currencies when they enter or leave the country must make a declaration, otherwise they will be subject to fines or imprisonment.

Currently, Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways are two Vietnamese carriers operating direct flights to Australia.

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Vinh Tho - Tuan Phung / Tuoi Tre News


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