A Vietnamese taxi driver in Nha Trang has been held for investigation after overcharging a group of Chinese tourists in the south-central beach city earlier this week, police said Friday.
On Wednesday, Chinese national Lu Juan, her mother and her son hailed a cab to go from the Nha Trang Center shopping mall back to their Muong Thanh Hotel.
Driver Le Trong Quat picked up the tourists and dropped them off a few dozen meters from the hotel, when the taxi meter displayed an amount of VND62,000 (US$2.7).
However, the 40-year-old cabbie put out his mobile phone and pressed the number 7,120,000, asking the tourists to pay VND7.12 million ($310).
Knowing that they were cheated, Lu refused to pay the exorbitant fare, only to be threatened by the dishonest driver. The Chinese tourist reluctantly agreed to give him VND3 million ($132).
But as Quat continued to ask for more, Lu eventually had to give him another VND3 million for fear of being assaulted.
Upon leaving the taxi, the Chinese tourists went straight to the local police station and reported the scam.
On Thursday, police managed to catch the scam driver and asked him to return the overcharged fee to the Chinese passengers.
Quat has scammed people with a rental car wearing the license plate of 79A-04318 and a fake badge of a local taxi firm, according to the police.
The cabbie now faces charge of extortion of property.
On August 4, a South Korean tourist was charged VND700,000 ($31) for a taxi ride from Da Nang International Airport to her hotel in the city that should have cost VND60,000 ($2.6).