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Foreign tourists overcharged by xich lo drivers in Ho Chi Minh City, again

Saturday, September 21, 2019, 13:26 GMT+7
Foreign tourists overcharged by xich lo drivers in Ho Chi Minh City, again
Tran Quy Vinh (left) and Sam Van Dung are seen in photos provided by police.

Police in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 3 said on Friday they are detaining two cyclo drivers for overcharging two tourists from the Philippines, asking them to pay five times a price that had been agreed upon.

Sam Van Dung and Tran Quy Vinh, both 47 years old, make a living from driving cycle rickshaw, known as xich lo in Vietnamese, offering to take visitors around the city’s tourist spots.

At around 3:00 pm on September 16, the men had two guests, Marina Monina Surban Flores and her coworker Melannie Sabellano Carna, both from the Philippines, who asked to tour multiple destinations in the downtown area on the cyclo.

The four agreed that the Filippino women would pay VND150,000 (US$6.45) each for the journey that started from the Reunification Palace on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street in District 1.

After reaching their final destination at the War Remnants Museum on Vo Van Tan Street in District 3, the tourists opened their purses to pay the cyclo drivers VND150,000 each as already agreed upon.

However, Dung, who carried Flores, asked his guest to pay VND200,000 ($8.6), while Vinh demanded VND 1.5 million ($64.5) from Carna.

As Carna refused to pay the unreasonable fare, Vinh snatched her purse, but the female tourist was able to keep it in her hand.

Vinh continued yelling at and threatening the 35-year-old Filipino until she eventually paid him VND1.5 million.

Flores and Carna then reported the incident to police in District 3.

Police officers were able to identify the cyclo drivers as Dung and Vinh, both of who have criminal records for property theft.

Officers in District 3 are completing procedures to forward the case to the higher-level municipal police for further investigation of property appropriation.

Last month, Oki Toshiyuki, an 83-year-old tourist from Japan, was charged VND2.9 million ($124) for a two-kilometer ride that should have cost about VND100,000 ($4).

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