A pilot and a flight attendant of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines were apprehended Monday for smuggling totally six kilograms of gold when entering Gimhae International Airport in Busan City in South Korea last month, local media reported on Tuesday.
According to Korean media, customs officers at the airport found the Vietnamese captain and flight attendant stashing four and two gold bars, weighing one kilogram each, in their shoes, respectively, without customs declaration when they went through the metal detector system after their flight from Hanoi arrived on March 10.
The two Vietnam Airlines employees claimed they were paid US$250 per kilogram of gold successfully transported to South Korea, the media said, adding that they did not know the other was smuggling gold even though they were onboard the same flight.
They were handed over to Korean police and have been in custody for further investigation, according to Korean media.
The Korean customs said that there might be many other gold smuggling cases. In 2013, the Korean customs uncovered only one case, but they discovered four in March this year alone, all of which happened at Gimhae International Airport.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), two Vietnam Airlines employees, captain Nguyen Van Dung, 35, and flight attendant Nguyen Tuan Phong were arrested for carrying gold without customs declaration after their VN426 flight, from Hanoi to Busan, landed at the international airport.
Korean authorities have not formally notified the case to their Vietnamese counterparts, the CAAV said.