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French tourists accuse Hanoi cabby of charging them $19.5 for 200-meter ride

French tourists accuse Hanoi cabby of charging them $19.5 for 200-meter ride

Monday, May 13, 2024, 12:02 GMT+7
French tourists accuse Hanoi cabby of charging them $19.5 for 200-meter ride
The image of the cab whose driver allegedly charged a French couple US$19.5 for a 200-meter ride and forced them to pay the same amount to return their belongings left behind in the vehicle in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2024. Photo: Supplied.

Police in Hanoi are verifying a case in which a taxi driver was accused of charging a French couple US$19.5 for a 200-meter ride and also forcing them to pay the same for getting back the wallet and passport they left in the cab. 

The administration of Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem District on Sunday said local police were clarifying the case which had been spread on social media on the same day, Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported. 

M., a Frenchwoman, recounted that she and her husband caught a taxi for a trip from 114 Tran Nhat Duat Street in the district to 9 Cho Gao Street, only about 200 meters away, on Sunday morning.   

When reaching the destination, the cabbie locked the rear door of the cab and forced the couple to pay VND500,000 ($19.5) before they could get off the vehicle, M. narrated.

VND500,000 for a 200-meter distance seems excessively high, as Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper understands.

Presently, open-door taxi fares in Hanoi typically range from VND6,000 to VND9,000, while charges for the initial 30 kilometers vary from VND10,500 to VND16,000 per kilometer, contingent upon the type of vehicle.

After paying the hefty fare and leaving the cab, M.'s husband found he left his wallet and passport in the vehicle.

A short moment later, the taxi driver drove back and asked the couple to pay another VND500,000 to return their belongings.

After paying the driver to recover the items, the couple experienced genuine frustration.

The Frenchwoman emphasized that the ordeal had a significant psychological impact on them, especially since it occurred during their inaugural trip to Vietnam.

They then had a tour guide refer the case, along with a photo of the cab, to local authorities.

They said they had finished their trip to Sa Pa Town in northern Lao Cai Province and were sent back to 114 Tran Nhat Duat early on Sunday morning in Hanoi, from where they were scheduled to embark on a new tour.

In talking with Tuoi Tre, S., from a travel firm in Hanoi, who posted details of the incident on social media, said that the couple were gearing up for their upcoming tour arranged by his firm when the incident occurred.

“We carefully told the couple to stay at 114 Tran Nhat Duat while waiting for us to send a vehicle there to pick them up and drove them to 9 Cho Gao Street, the departure point of their new tour," S. said.

"Nevertheless, they opted to travel to the location by taxi of their own volition."

Commenting on what had happened to them, the couple said they had undergone a bad experience in which they felt they had been swindled, S. narrated.

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Vinh Tho - Hong Quang / Tuoi Tre News

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