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HCM City tightens control over cabs to ensure safety for tourists

HCM City authorities have told local agencies to take measures to protect tourists.

One of the measures is sticking phone numbers of traffic inspectors on cabs. Whenever tourists face problems on cabs, they can call and ask for help from traffic inspectors. The HCM City Department of Transport will combine with the police and the local taxi association to inspect cabs regularly and strictly punish illegal cabs.

Local police will intensify patrols at tourist attractions to protect tourists from robbers and thieves. Police will also make public phone numbers for tourists and people to contact in necessary cases. Volunteers will join police to patrol at crowded tourist sites. HCM City administration’s instruction originates from the fact that some cabs cheated foreign tourists.

On March 29, a Japanese visitor named Ono Ayumi, 27, took a taxi of Saigon Hoang Long from Tan Son Nhat Airport to District 1. Though the fare meter stopped at VND252,000 ($13), the driver forced the tourist to paid more than VND700,000 ($35). The driver took Ms. Ayumi to an ATM to withdraw cash. After the passenger left the cab, the driver drove away with Ayumi’s luggage and her VND1.5 million ($75).

In mid- 2011, HCM City police arrested a cab driver named Tran Minh Quoc. Quoc stuck the logo of Mai Linh taxi on his car to cheat tourists. He took a foreign woman from District 1 to Tan Son Nhat Airport. The stretch of road was only 7km but Quoc adjusted the meter to 400km and forced the tourist to pay up to VND4 million ($200). Quoc confessed that he cheated at least two foreign tourists, taking VND8 million from them.

Nam Nguyen

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