American diplomat mugged in Saigon taxi: police

By Staff reporters   September 26, 2017 | 10:18 am GMT+7
American diplomat mugged in Saigon taxi: police
The U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Calvin Godfrey

He fell asleep during the ride and was allegedly awoken by a man trying to take a cell phone from his pocket.

An officer from the U.S. Consulate in Saigon was pinned down and robbed in a taxi in the center of the city on Sunday morning, according to police reports.

The reports quoted the American diplomat, only identified as a 43-year-old senior officer at the consulate, as saying that he was taking a taxi from his office in District 1 to his residence on Nguyen Du Street early in the morning.

He fell asleep during the ride and was awoken by a man trying to take a cell phone from his pocket.

He fought back, but another man held him from behind. He said he lost the phone, bank cards and VND1 million ($44) in cash.

The U.S. Consultate was not immediately available for comment.

Police in District 1 have also refused to provide further information, saying they are collecting statements. The name of the taxi company also remains a mystery.

Saigon is Vietnam’s largest and most modern city, but safety issues remain a concern for both locals and foreign visitors.

Earlier this month, American director Jordan Vogt-Roberts was hospitalized after being caught in a bar fight after midnight. Best known in Vietnam for the blockbuster "Kong: Skull Island", the director received special attention from the government following the incident because he is also the country's acting tourism ambassador.

"I was brutally and maliciously assaulted by a group of several men," he wrote in a letter to the U.S. embassy, saying that he "was a victim" of the melee. No one has been held responsible.

In June, an American tourist was stabbed to death during a fight with a Vietnamese man in the city’s backpacker district, allegedly over a drug deal. His attacker was arrested two weeks later.

 
 
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