Notorious German beggar is back in Saigon

By Quoc Anh   March 23, 2017 | 05:55 am PT
Notorious German beggar is back in Saigon
Benjamin Holst is shown in a Facebook photo begging for money on a street in Ho Chi Minh City.
He shared Facebook photos of him enjoying beers and Saigon nightlife.

Infamous beggar Benjamin Holst, who has been traveling the world and partying with money made from begging, appears to have returned to Ho Chi Minh City, if photos posted on Facebook are anything to go by.

Images of Holst have been circulating on social media over the past week showing him begging for money on the city's streets.

Holst has been dubbed a “professional beggar” for repeatedly using his leg, which is permanently swollen due to a condition called macrodystrophia lipomatosa, to gain sympathy from tourists and locals around the world.

“I post these photos and I hope someone can help him return home and receive treatment,” said a user who shared photos of Holst on Hoang Sa Street in District 3.

But treatment might not be Holst's goal, who since last week has been posting photos on his Facebook page sitting in restaurants around Saigon’s backpacker corner and drinking beer, along with waitresses in skimpy clothes.

According to his Facebook page, he flew to Da Nang last Wednesday after spending time in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, saying it was “time for cheaper girls”, referring to Penang.

Many people who hear his story about needing to buy a plane ticket home give him money, which usually ends up being spent in bars and on sex services.

In September 2014, locals in Thailand gave him more than $1,400 to buy a plane ticket home, and Deutscher Hilfsverein Thailand, an organization that helps German citizens abroad, opened a crowdfunding site for him.

He was deported and banned from returning to Thailand after being found spending the cash at a party in Pattaya shortly after, the Star Online reported.

But the pandling did not stop as Holst was later seen doing the same thing in Cambodia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Philippines. He also got into trouble with authorities in Cambodia and Indonesia.

Holst visited Ho Chi Minh City at least once in June 2016.

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