A taxi driver in Ho Chi Minh City has been slapped with a fine and laid off from his job after he overcharged an Indian visitor while pretending to be an employee of a rival taxicab company last weekend.

The Indian visitor, who landed at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on August 25, took a cab from the airdrome to a hotel on Nguyen Hue Street in District 1, about eight kilometers apart.

The taxi driver, later identified as Nguyen Quoc Dat, charged the Indian visitor VND1.2 million (US$52) for the trip, which normally costs around VND150,000 ($6.45).

Dat gave the Indian man a receipt bearing the logo of , a popular taxi firm in Ho Chi Minh City. A Mai Linh representative has confirmed the receipt is fake.

Dat was in fact an employee of Saigontourist, a popular tour operator in Ho Chi Minh City which also invests in the taxicab business, a Tan Son Nhat airport management official told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday.

The driver did not violate airport regulations in picking up the Indian visitor because Saigontourist – as well as Mai Linh – is licensed to operate at the southern airdrome, the official added.

A police officer works with Mai Linh representatives to verify the identity of a bogus driver who overcharged an Indian visitor in Ho Chi Minh City on August 25, 2019. Photo: Mai Linh
A police officer works with Mai Linh representatives to verify the identity of a bogus driver who overcharged an Indian visitor in Ho Chi Minh City on August 25, 2019. Photo: Mai Linh

A Saigontourist representative told Tuoi Tre it had reviewed details of the incident and found that Dat is indeed one of its employees.

The tour operator has fined Dat VND5 million ($215) and terminated his contract, the representative said.

Saigontourist said it has also sent a memo to all employees warning them against repeating Dat’s mistake.

There have been many cases in which a cabbie pretended to be an employee of Mai Linh, the firm stated, adding that these bogus drivers often operate at Tan Son Nhat and target foreigners.

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