Vietnam suspends taxi company for poor operation

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The transport ministry's inspectorate on Friday suspended a taxi company whose driver was arrested in early November for overcharging two Singaporean guests of an Interpol meeting in Hanoi, VnExpress reported.

Nguyen Xuan Hao, chief inspector from the Ministry of Transport, said in the newswire that the Hanoi-based Phu Gia Co. was found operating "messily" without a proper management system.

The company, which failed to register its logo and paint color as regulated, in fact, has been re-sold many times, he said.

While Phu Gia had 14 taxis, it invested in only four of them and rented others, he said. There also were almost no contracts between the company and its driver.

The taxi operator managed drivers with a radio, and every month each driver paid the company VND800,000 (US$38) for using the radio service and meters, the newswire quoted Hao as saying.

According to VnExpress,  Mua Xuan, another taxi company in Hanoi, was suspended for the same violations.

The companies were among taxi companies that have inspected by the transport ministry in November.

The ministry launched the inspection in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, after Hanoi police arrested Pham Van Xam, a 22-year-old driver of Phu Gia Co., for forcing two Singaporean customers to pay him more than $200 and SGD100 ($78) for a 10-kilometer ride on October 28.

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Xam, who is being investigated on charges of "robbery" and "illegally appropriating properties of others," also was accused of driving the taxi away after realizing that the customers forgot their iPhone 4 on the seat.

The foreign customers, Chen Ang Dani and Than Sha Pen, were participants in the 80th General Assembly of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) held from October 31 to November 3 in Hanoi.

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