HCMC restaurant employees beat, strip customer for refusing to pay inflated bill

By Quoc Thang   May 6, 2024 | 01:26 am PT
HCMC restaurant employees beat, strip customer for refusing to pay inflated bill
Four people at the Nari Bar in HCMC are arrested by police. Photo courtesy of the police
The employees of a restaurant in HCMC's District 1 allegedly beat and disrobed a customer who refused to pay bills as he believed he had been scammed.

Le Thi Phuong Tram, 27, owner of the Nari Bar restaurant on Thai Van Lung Street, along with four employees, were arrested by police on Saturday to be investigated for extortion.

The customer, 53-year-old Dung*, went to the restaurant after midnight on April 17 to drink beer, and was recommended by employees to purchase a service package, which included beer and karaoke services, for $40 an hour. When he entered a room, he was served by a female employee who sang and drank beer with him. Two other female employees later joined him.

When Dung went to the toilet and returned, he saw that there were too many empty beer cans on the floor. He believed the waitresses brought empty beer cans in to charge him extra, so he chased them out.

At 4 a.m., when Dung asked to pay, employees gave him a bill of over VND10 million ($400) worth of services, food, beer and taxes. Dung said he was charged inappropriately compared with the $40 per hour service package he purchased, and so refused to pay up. Conflicts arose and Dung threatened to call the police. Several employees at the facility then surrounded him and refused to let him get out.

Tram then stepped in and said the bill would be reduced to VND9.5 million. Dung continued to refuse to pay up, and threatened to call the police.

Authorities said four restaurant employees rushed in to beat Dung and disrobe him. An employee then recorded a video and threatened to publish it online if Dung refuses to pay. He then threw Dung out on the street naked and closed the doors.

Employees then took Dung’s credit card and used it to pay for the VND9.5 million bill. They then returned his clothes, forced him to sign paying papers, before letting him go. Dung then went to the police to report what happened.

An investigation is ongoing.

*Name has been changed.

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