Nguyen Nhu Khanh (L), owner of Hao Long Son Restaurant in the southern resort town of Vung Tau, signs a record of his violations on February 2, 2015. Photo: Minh Anh
Authorities in southern Vietnam have suspended a restaurant after its owner was found charging a Japanese customer VND22 million (US$1,000) for a simple meal, ten times the actual price.
This temporary ban could become permanent for Hao Long Son Restaurant in the center of Vung Tau, a popular beach town very close to Ho Chi Minh City.
The suspension has been set for three months, but authorities said the restaurant could have its license revoked later, local media reported.
Owner Nguyen Nhu Khanh could also be banned from doing any restaurant business in the city.
It was the second time Khanh’s restaurant was found ripping off customers.
Hao Long Son was formerly known as Huong Viet, which had been fined VND12.5 million ($570) for overcharging a group of Japanese and Vietnamese tourists in 2013.
It was renamed just one week before the second rip-off, for which it was fined VND10 million ($462).
According to local authorities, on January 19, a Japanese, whose name was not revealed, and Le Thi Hong Thanh, a Vietnamese, had a dinner at the restaurant.
They were billed VND2.2 million for the meal, but when swiping the foreigner’s credit card, Khanh made it VND22 million.
The difference was not discovered until Thanh checked the receipt on their way back to their hotel.
She and the Japanese then returned to the restaurant, only to find that it had been closed.
Khanh said the next morning the customers informed him of the mistake, which he claimed to be a machine error.
He said he came to a bank that day and once again on January 26 to return the difference, but for some reason his transactions all failed.
The owner claimed that the money was finally sent to the Japanese’s bank account on January 28, but authorities said they still needed to verify this, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.