Police to patrol Vietnam’s biggest airport in bid to beef up security

Police forces have been permanently deployed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City for the first time in an effort to tighten security.

The officers will help maintain safety and order, while assisting current security forces with criminals and criminal reports.

Tan Son Nhat, the country's largest airport, serves 180,000 flights and more than 36 million passengers each year, according to official data.

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Passengers wait in line for check-in procedures at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Cong

The airport is open around the clock and over 100,000 people pass through its doors every day, posing multiple security risks, according to Ho Chi Minh City’s police department.

As the biggest gateway into the country, Tan Son Nhat also plays a key role in protecting national security, said the department.

Theft, weapons, public disorder, smuggling and assaults have all been reported at the airport in recent years, prompting the city’s police to step in.

But many violations have gone undetected due to the lack of on-site police officers, the department said.

In a rare case, 15 people were sentenced to 5-16 years in prison for acts of “terrorism to oppose the people’s administration” after they were convicted of planting petrol bombs at Tan Son Nhat last year.

According to the verdict, two of the suspects planted the devices in the parking lot and international terminal in April.

Passengers in the terminal reported the suspicious package and alerted airport security.

The other package failed to detonate in the parking lot, so the suspect moved it to the international terminal where it went off, sending passengers fleeing in panic.