Taxi driver gets comeuppance for ripping off foreign tourists in Vietnamese capital

TN News

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Tourists  at Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. PHOTO: VNA

A Hanoi taxi driver has been fined VND14 million (US$658) and had her driving license canceled after being found driving an unlicensed cab and cheating two foreign tourists.

Ngo Thi Nhung also apologized tearfully and returned the money to her English victims Nicola Iraland and Brianna Solomon Wednesday, Vietnam News Agency reported.

She claimed she had not cheated them, and, due to the language barrier, they paid her US$50 instead of $5 for a trip of three kilometers.

On February 15 the tourists took Nhung's taxi apparently belonging to Ha Anh Company at Ngoc Son Temple to go to Ho Chi Minh Museum.

On arrival they argued over the fare with her, saying there was something wrong with the meter.

She came out, ordered the two to get off and grabbed a $50 bill from them.

The English women took a photo of the taxi’s license plate and informed the Tourist Support Office.

The office and local transport Inspectorate identified Nhung as the driver.

She claimed she had shown five fingers to indicate $5, but the passengers gave her $50.

Since she was in a hurry to go she took the bill without realizing it was $50.

Bui Ngoc Tan of the Inspectorate also said Nhung did not work for Ha Anh, only drove a taxi that looked like the company’s.

The vehicle has been seized and will be held for up to 30 days.

Nearly 18,000 taxis belonging to 113 companies operate in Hanoi, Tan said, adding that most drivers received training in ethical behavior, but some bad apples still rip off customers and behave in an uncivilized manner.

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