Six Chinese nationals have been handed civil fines totaling VND120 million (US$5,350) for breaching visa regulations in the central city of Da Nang.
The penalty was proposed by the municipal police department and signed into effect by the city’s chairman Huynh Duc Tho on Wednesday.
Five Chinese women, Li Guangping, 37, Huang Wei, 26, Song Ying, 28, and Xu Zhenghua, 37, and one man, Yang Chuan, 44, had all been sharing a rented house on Ngo Thi Si Street in Ngu Hang Son District when officials determined that the group had entered the central city on tourist visas but had stayed to work without a permit.
They were each fined VND20 million ($893) for the offense.
Authorities did not specify if these six foreigners are amongst the Chinese nationals that created a stir for working as illegal tour guides, spreading misinformation, and stealing jobs from locals.
Foreigners in Vietnam are not permitted to serve as tour guides, but that hasn’t stopped a boom in Chinese nationals entering the country under tourist visas and staying to work illegally in the tourism sector.
In discussing the rise of illegal foreign tour guides, Le Xuan Vien, head of the Immigration Office under the Ministry of Public Security, underlined that penalties and deportation is a must.
The Immigration Office has been asked to collaborate with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) to review and handle situations involving illegitimate tour guides from China, Vien told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday.
According to Vien, the problem has spread beyond the Chinese and cases involving illegal tour guides from Russia and South Korea operating in Hanoi, Nha Trang and Quang Ninh have also been reported.
“These violators, Chinese nationals or any other foreigners must be subject to civil fines, have their visa canceled, or their allowable stay shorted. In some cases, they should even be deported,” Vien said.