Hanoi taxi driver fined after fleecing German tourist

 Hanoi taxi driver fined after fleecing German tourist

A taxi driver (L) returns the money he had overcharged his German passenger to a transport inspector in Hanoi, May 13, 2021. Photo courtesy of Hanoi Tourist Information Center.

Transport inspectors in Hanoi on Thursday fined an unregistered taxi driver VND9 million ($389) for overcharging a German passenger by five times the normal fare.

At 2:30 p.m. on May 2, the passenger took a taxi from the Temple of Literature to Vietnam Women's Museum, both popular tourist destinations in Hanoi, in a 2.5-kilometer journey for which the normal fare is around VND40,000.

However, the driver deliberately used a longer route and charged him VND200,000 based on the meter fare.

After paying the money to the driver, the German passenger took a photo of the taxi number plate and informed the Hanoi Tourist Information Center who asked local authorities to investigate the incident.

Transport inspectors stepped in and tracked down the driver, who was found driving the taxi without a license.

At a meeting with transport inspectors Thursday, the driver admitted his mistake and returned the money that he had overcharged.

The cheating of foreign tourists has been a problem in Vietnam for some time, affecting its reputation as a safe and friendly tourism destination.

Taxi scams used to be common in Vietnam, but rising competition in the transport sector has helped stem the problem. However, foreigners are still regular targets.

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