Vietnamese cabbie gets jail time for robbing Japanese tourist

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A taxi driver was sentenced to two years in prison for robbing a Japanese tourist after first ripping her off, according to a trial heard in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, online newspaper VnExpress reported.

Nguyen Thanh Hai, 39, was convicted of robbing Ono Ayumi, who traveled in his taxi on March 30 of last year, of nearly VND20 million (US$947.33), according to the verdict rendered by a Ho Chi Minh City court.

That day Hai drove Ono from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to a hotel on De Tham Street, the backpacker area in District 1, the report quoted the indictment as saying.

While the meter showed VND250,000 ($11.84), the driver did not give Ono change when she presented him with a VND500,000 ($23.68) note. Instead, he demanded that she pay more.

After she paid him VND1.5 million ($71) and 1,000 yen ($10.48), he kept demanding more. The Japanese tourist then asked Hai to drive her to an ATM so she could withdraw cash.

When Ono got out of the taxi to use the ATM, Hai drove away with all her luggage. Her stolen property was estimated to be worth nearly VND20 million.

Four days after the tourist informed local agencies of the robbery, the driver turned himself in to the police. 

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