Da Nang dealing with influx of foreign street beggars

By Ngoc Truong   July 1, 2019 | 07:46 pm PT
Da Nang dealing with influx of foreign street beggars
Chinese man He Jian Jian, 26, was caught begging on the streets in Da Nang in central Vietnam on June 25, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/D.N.
Two Chinese nationals caught begging on Da Nang streets have been deported and police are hunting two other foreign female beggars.

Last Tuesday, He Jian Jian, 26, from China’s Yunnan Province, was found begging for money near a park in Son Tra District, according to a source from the Son Tra Peninsula and Da Nang Beaches Management Department.

The Chinese man had entered Vietnam by road via the northern border gate with a valid three-month visa. He took a bus to travel more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) to Da Nang, a popular tourist destination in central Vietnam, and had been begging on the streets for four days before he was caught.

Da Nang police escorted him back to the border gate in the northern province of Lang Son and sent him home.

In March, local authorities received a complaint from residents about another foreigner wandering around restaurants and food shops to beg for money.

The city police’s immigration management department identified the beggar as a 60-year-old Chinese man who had arrived in Vietnam on March 26 and rented a local room to stay and beg on streets.

He voluntarily went back home.

Authorities say these are just two of many cases of foreigners entering Vietnam and going to Da Nang to beg. Many people pretended to be deaf to avoid conversations with police.

Da Nang police are looking for two foreign women who were reportedly begging at food shops too. Their nationalities remain unknown.

Da Nang, usually considered Vietnam's third most important city after Hanoi and HCMC, received 7.6 million visitors including 2.87 million foreigners last year, a 23.3 percent increase from the previous year.

Foreigners begging in Vietnam are apparently a new trend, and many have been seen begging or performing for money. Begging is illegal under Vietnamese law.

Last year, the photo of an American man begging at street corners in HCMC for several months, holding a sign in Vietnamese that said he needed money, had sparked outrage among both the expats and locals.

In 2017, the photo of a Russian woman sitting in a meditation posture next to a pot and a sign asking for money in Phu Quoc Island also went viral on social media. She was later deported.

Earlier, infamous German beggar Benjamin Holst who were banned in Thailand and Indonesia for scamming came to Saigon, begging for money on the street even as he published posts from beer shops and fancy restaurants, spending the money kind-hearted strangers gave him.

Watch the video below to hear some foreign tourists' thoughts on street begging in Vietnam.

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