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Vietnam Tightens Airport Security Following Disappearance of Malaysian Jet

An officer stands guard near Vietnam aircraft before a mission to find the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that disappeared from radar screens Saturday, at Phu Quoc Airport on Phu Quoc Island, March 10, 2014.
Airports in Vietnam have stepped up security procedures as the country continues its search for a missing Malaysian airliner.

Pham Anh Tuan, a senior security official at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, told VOA's Vietnamese service the airport has strictly followed a government order that puts Vietnam on the first level of a three-tiered security alert system.

“If our employees spot anything suspicious and abnormal, they must report it to security forces at once," he said. "We have closely monitored everything at the airport, and have conducted random checks on passengers and luggage even after they go through the security scan.”

Following reports that two passengers on the Malaysian plane were traveling on stolen passports, he said the Hanoi airport has conducted intensive employee training to prevent things such as document fraud.

“We have updated information on tracking down fraudulent passports and have informed and trained security forces on the ways to recognize breaches in aviation papers and regulations,” he said.

Nguyen Cong Dung from Da Nang Airport in Central Vietnam has also confirmed his airport has increased security.

More explosive detectors and security staff have been placed in both the local and international arrival and departure terminals at the biggest airports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Malaysian officials initially did not rule out terrorism after the plane vanished Saturday, but on Tuesday, Interpol said the two Iranian men who boarded the plane on stolen passports have no apparent links to terrorist groups.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.