To reproduce the problem, I logged in as the user, and found one thing spurious: the user was in the group of "Registered COPPA Users", not the normal "Registered Users". I did not know what that COPPA stands for. So I googled the phase "Registered COPPA users" and the top hit led me into the phpBB3 document on Group Management, and the section I am interested in reads as follows:
Registered COPPA users are basically the same as registered users, except that they fall under the COPPA, or Child Online Privacy Protection Act, law, meaning that they are under the age of 13 in the U.S.A. Managing the permissions this usergroup has is important in protecting these users. COPPA doesn't apply to users living outside of the U.S.A. and can be disabled altogether.
So a registered COPPA user is, by definition, under the age of 13. By default phpBB3 does not even allow such a child to read any content! In the context of 3DNA forum, this policy simply does not make any sense — the contents (in the public section) are viewable by any one without registration.
It turned out that at registration stage, the first question is: "To continue with the registration procedure please tell us when you were born." Two dynamically generated dates are given, one is "Before" a date defining an age over 13, and the other "On or after" it for below 13. Obviously the 3DNA user mentioned above clicked the wrong button.
After knowing where the problem was and how it was created, fixing it was straightforward. Interestingly, when I then checked the 3DNA forum registered users, I found five of them were in the "Registered COPPA Users" group. Obviously, the previous (wrong) registers did not complain — possibly lost interest in pursuing further, so this issue did not surfaced until recently.
In a real world as we live, what seems simple may not be. Nothing should be taken for granted.