Karaoke bar staff arrested in Hanoi for overcharging, threatening Chinese customer

By VnExpress   July 3, 2017 | 10:37 am GMT+7

The staff allegedly charged their 'timid' opening-day customer $680 for services worth $92.

Police in Hanoi have arrested the manager and two employees of a newly-opened karaoke parlor for overcharging and threatening a Chinese customer and his translator, according to Vietnam News Agency.

Dinh Viet Phuc, 26, the manager of Kiss karaoke bar on Thai Ha Street, Dong Da District, allegedly instructed two employees to significantly raise service prices for customers who seemed shy or timid. The employees, Dinh Gia Thoi, 21, and Duong Tien Thanh, 26, were then supposed to threaten the customers if they questioned the inflated price and make them pay up.

Phuc's karaoke bar opened its doors on June 22, and Zhou W., a 51-year-old Chinese man, and his translator Hoang Van Q., 26, were among its first customers, as well as Phuc's first victims. (Their full names are not revealed.)

Under Phuc's instructions, Thoi warmly welcomed the two, served them food, drinks and called some hostesses to entertain them. However, Zhou and Q. didn't sing or take the food and drinks Thoi provided.

After 20 minutes, Zhou and Q. decided to leave, but were blocked by Thanh and Thoi. They demanded the two pay VND15.43 million ($680) instead of the actual price of VND 2.1 million for the services, and threatened to beat them up if they refused to pay.

Zhou and Q. didn't have enough cash with them, so Phuc instructed Thanh and Thoi to escort them back to Zhou's hotel to get the money. However, while the taxi they were was stopped at a red traffic light, Zhou and Q. jumped out of the car and asked security guards in a nearby building for help.

Police received information about the case on June 25 and issued an emergency arrest warrant for Phuc, Thoi and Thanh, according to An ninh Thu do newspaper.

Police are investigating further.

Police in Ho Chi Minh City last Thursday also arrested a restaurant manager after he charged an Australian tourist $30,360 for a dinner in August last year. The man allegedly instructed his staff to swipe the tourist's two credit cards several times to pay for the dinner, which actually cost less than $1,000.