Vietnam Airlines issues update on crew detained in Melbourne

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Vietnam Airlines released a statement, which was seen by local mediaregarding his flight attendants being detained and questioned by Australian authorities at Melbourne Airport.

The Vietnamese flag carrier has confirmed that on May 23, 2022, nine of the 11 flight attendants on flight VN 780 were detained and questioned Australian authorities at the airport ahead of the Melbourne-Ho Chi Minh City flight.

Eight of the flight attendants were allowed to fly to Ho Chi Minh City later the same day, while the remaining flight attendant was allowed to board a flight back to Vietnam two days later.

On June 14, 2022, 7News from Australia reported on a raid that saw police ‘break’ nine crew members accused of laundering AU60,000 ($41,000) in cash. Police found the money divided among the crew and hidden in their personal luggage.

Image Credit: Video screenshot from 7news.com.au

Australian police suspect the crew was trying to smuggle drug money to overseas cartels. Although Australian media did not specifically name the airline, a photograph released by the Australian Border Force and published by 7News showed Vietnamese cash and passports taken as evidence.

Vietnamese airlines classified the incident as simply “a random inspection”, informing local media that they had received no official notification from the Australian authorities.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) describes the case as “not very serious”.

Under Australian law, any foreigner who brings 10,000 AUD ($6,935), or an equivalent amount in other currencies, must declare when entering or leaving the country. Otherwise, they may be subject to fines or imprisonment.

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