South Korean diplomat claims robbery in Saigon taxi

By Quoc Thang   January 5, 2019 | 07:04 pm PT
South Korean diplomat claims robbery in Saigon taxi
Tran Van Chung, 37, is held at police station for stealing cell phone from South Korean diplomat. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Thang
Saigon police are investigating an alleged robbery wherein a taxi driver stole a phone from a South Korean diplomat.

District 1 police on Friday detained taxi driver Tran Van Chung after receiving a complaint from Cha Hyun Jin, a senior officer of South Korean consulate general in Ho Chi Minh City, that her cell phone has been stolen in a taxi ride in the downtown area.

Preliminary investigations found that the South Korean diplomat and her friend had taken Chung’s taxi on Pham Ngu Lao Street near the famous backpacker precinct on December 29.

After running for just a few minutes, she spotted the meter jumping to nearly VND200,000 ($8.62); and the driver said the meter was broken. Immediately, Jin and her friend asked the driver to stop the car to get off.

He charged them VND25,000 ($1.07) for the ride. While she was trying to pay, Chung allegedly reached into her handbag and grabbed the cell phone. How he managed to do so has not been explained,

After getting off the car, she discovered her phone has been lost and filed complaint with the police.

The driver has told police that the customer had left her phone in the car.

Petty theft and taxi scams are among the problems that nag Ho Chi Minh City's growing tourism sector, which received more than seven million foreign visitors last year, a 20 percent year-on-year increase.

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