Hanoi taxi driver fined for cheating Dutch tourists

By Phuong Son   August 12, 2019 | 05:34 am PT
Hanoi taxi driver fined for cheating Dutch tourists
Taxi driver Pham Viet Kieu (C) apologizes to Hageraats Alexander, a Dutch tourist, for overcharging him and his family at a Hanoi traffic inspectors office, August 11, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Son Phuong.
A Hanoi taxi driver has been fined VND9 million ($390) for charging a Dutch family 10 times the meter fees.

Pham Viet Kieu, 27, paid the fine Sunday and returned the money he took from the tourists with an apology.

His driving license has also been revoked for two months and his vehicle is seized for seven days as authorities found that Kieu was an unregistered taxi driver.

Last Thursday, Hageraats Alexander, his wife and two sons took Kieu’s taxi from Tran Quang Khai Street to Hang Bun Street in Ba Dinh District.

While the meter read VND45,000 ($2) for more than 2 km, Kieu demanded VND450,000 ($20).

Hageraats later reported the incident to Hanoi's Department of Tourism through its hotline, saying he and his family tried to refuse Kieu’s demand, but his furious reaction prompted them to pay up.

After receiving the complaint, the department worked with Ba Dinh District's traffic inspectors to verify the story.

On Sunday, Kieu was summoned to the office of the Ba Dinh District Traffic Inspectorate. He admitted to cheating the Dutch family, paid the fine levied by authorities and apologized to the tourist family. He also promised that he would not engage in such actions again.

Tourists getting ripped off has been a problem in Vietnam for some time, affecting its reputation as a safe and friendly tourism destination.

A recent World Bank report said cheating by tourism services and the lack of road safety are among the most negative experiences for international tourists.

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