Phu Quoc taxi drivers turn violent following argument over foreign tourist

By Ngoc Tai   January 19, 2024 | 02:31 am PT
Phu Quoc taxi drivers turn violent following argument over foreign tourist
Tran Tri Hieu (L) and Nguyen Van Hieu at a police station in Phu Quoc, southern Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the police
A driver of a taxi service in the tourist island of Phu Quoc and his accomplice are under arrest after they violently attacked another electric taxi driver who was alleged to steal their foreign passenger.

Nguyen Van Teo, 31, and Tran Tri Hieu, 26, were put under criminal investigation for "disturbance of public order," police said on Thursday.

On Jan. 8, Teo parked his car on Tran Hung Dao Street in Duong Dong Ward and invited a foreign tourist to take a ride.

At this time, Tran Hoai Nghia, a driver of an electric taxi company, also came to invite the tourist to use his service.

Teo and Nghia quickly got into a quarrel, but the tourist agreed to take Nghia's car.

After a while, Nghia returned to where Teo parked his car, and both continued arguing.

Teo and Hieu later punched Nghia in the face and used tables and chairs to attack him, causing chaos in the area.

Police said their acts badly hurt Phu Quoc's tourism image.

Vietnam's largest island last year suffered a tourism crisis with falling tourist numbers due to soaring airfares, exorbitantly expensive tourism services and various scams.

The plunging travel demand caused the suspension of flights from Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Can Tho to the island.

Authorities recently pledged to improve the quality of tourism services and crack down on tourist scams.

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