Friday, February 14, 2014

Vietnam: Two Taxi Drivers Arrested in Hanoi for Assaulting, Robbing South Korean Tourist

According to http://www.thanhniennews.comthe Hanoi police said Wednesday (February 12) that they have arrested two taxi drivers for allegedly assaulting a South Korean tourist and stealing his valuables unsuccessfully attempting to overcharge the visitor,  the An Ninh Thu Do daily reported.

As a result, the drivers, both of whom drive unlicensed and unnamed taxis,  Do Van Duong, 31, and Nguyen Anh Trai, 38, are being held for questioning.

On February 8, another foreign tourist, Lee Seang Man, 24, a student in China who came to Vietnam for Tet, the country's Lunar New Year, hailed Duong’s taxi at the bus station on Giai Phong Street in Hoang Mai District. 

Lee, who didn't realize he was taking an unlicensed taxi, asked Duong to take him to Hoan Kiem Lake.

COMMENT: Duong reportedly drove Lee aimlessly around for period of time and then proceeded to  demand that Lee pay VND500,000 or the equivalent of US$23.70.

Lee refused to pay the outrageous fare, saying that his GPS showed the ride should only cost VND100,000.

Duong called Trai, who was also driving at that time, to the scene.

When Lee saw another taxi near him, he jumped out and entered Trai’s taxi. Duong followed.

Trai drove to a deserted area near Thanh Tri District and stopped.

There, he and Duong hit Lee in the face with fire extinguishers and grabbed his mobile phone, wallet with VND300,000 ($14), 30,000 Chinese yuan ($4,947) and some personal papers before fleeing.

Bystanders called the police after finding Lee, who was bleeding from the face and screaming for help. He was subsequently taken to a hospital and an interpreter was provided.

Based on his testimony, the Thanh Tri police arrested Duong Tuesday (February 11) who in turn told them about Trai, who was arrested shortly afterwards. 

On Wednesday police returned the South Korean's stolen property to him in the presence of South Korean Embassy representatives.

It is great news that the South Korean tourist had his stolen property returned to him.

That being said, the fact is that the level of tourist security support in  Vietnam is virtually non-existent with a significant percentage of tourists returning home after being victimized by a variety of scam artists that are waiting to fleece them far more than in other countries.