Illegal acts aboard airplanes, especially smoking, are on the rise, South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport reported on Monday.
According to a story in The Korea JoongAng Daily citing the ministry report, the number of violations, which include smoking, verbal abuse and sexual harassment in-flight, grew by 11 times from 2012 through 2016.
The number of smoking violations during the same period increased by more than 40 times.
In 2012, there were a total of 40 violations, but this number rose to 443 in 2016.
And the number of smoking violations rose from nine cases in 2012 to 360 last year.
Smoking violations accounted for 75.6 percent of the total violations during the past five years.
The ministry records only those violations that result in an arrest by airport police.
“Such increases are largely due to weak punishment on violations,” said Hong Chul-ho, a lawmaker from the Bareun Party, a spinoff of the former Saenuri Party, in a statement on Monday.
“Currently, violators are subject to less than 10 million won ($8,678) in fines under the Aviation Safety and Security Act, but in real life less than 1 million won fine is imposed.”