A Frenchman held up a Vietnam Airlines aircraft leaving Ho Chi Minh City to central Da Nang Saturday by “joking” to a co-passenger he had a bomb in his bag.
Mariano Francois Xavier Jean Agostini faces a fine of VND20 million-VND30million (US$970-1,460), Nguyen Trong Thang, Chief Inspector of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) said.
He may also have to pay compensation to Vietnam Airlines if it suffers any loss due to his prank, he added.
While boarding at Tan Son Nhat Airport, Agostini, 27, told a Vietnamese woman that there was a bomb in his handbag.
Another French passenger who overheard him immediately reported to the crew.
The flight, which was scheduled to leave at 12:45, was then delayed and all 180 passengers were offloaded and sent back to the terminal.
Security staff searched Agostini’s bag, all the checked-in bags, and the aircraft but did not find any bomb.
Agostini told them he had just been joking.
Airport authorities took away his passport and took him off the flight.
The plane took off at 15:15.