Fake taxi driver fined $500 for overcharging French passenger in Hanoi

By Vo Hai   October 6, 2017 | 06:57 pm PT
He allegedly charged the passenger a total of over $93 for a 25km journey.

Hanoi's transport authorities on Friday temporarily seized an unlicensed taxi and fined its driver for overcharging a French passenger.

The driver allegedly drove a French national from Hang Giay Street in Hanoi's Old Quarter to Noi Bai International Airport on September 21. He then charged the passenger VND1.8 million ($79) for the 25-kilometer (15.5-mile) journey and VND325,000 ($14.3) for “other fees”.

Additionally, the bill the driver produced had a different taxi company's name on it and claimed the journey started from Thanh Hoa, a city 136 kilometers south of Hanoi.


The fake taxi seized by transport inspectors. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Tuong.

The passenger immediately reported the incident to Noi Bai authorities, who on Thursday asked Hanoi's Transport Department to assist with the case, according to VietnamPlus.

Using the license plate number provided in the report, the department's inspectors discovered and seized the car, and identified the driver as Phan Van Xuan, the news site reported.

The car used in the case is not a registered taxi but privately owned, according to inspectors. Its owner had allegedly bought a set of taxi logos and a rigged taxi meter to scam unsuspecting passengers, and hired Xuan as a driver.

Transport inspectors have fined Xuan VND11.5 million ($506) as well as suspended his driver's license for 2 months and made him return the money he had scammed from the French passenger. The car used in the scam would also be seized for 7 days. It's unclear whether the car owner will face any penalties. 

A representative of Noi Bai claimed the airport has received the money from Xuan and would return it to the victim of the scam.

Overcharing incidents like this one happen once in a while in Vietnam, earning the industry a bad name.

Last month police in the central resort town of Nha Trang launched a criminal probe into a taxi driver after a group of Chinese tourists accused him of charging them over $260 for a less than $3 trip.

In August, another taxi driver in Da Nang was fined after charging a South Korean tourist $30 for a $2 journey.

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