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Street-vendor cheats to face tougher penalties

Update: September, 14/2012 - 10:32


A street vendor insists that a foreign visitor buy something from her in Ha Noi's Old Quarter. Local authorities are taking action to prevent foreign visitors from being overcharged. — Photo courtesy
HA NOI (VNS)— Efforts are being made to save foreign visitors from being overcharged by street vendors in Ha Noi's Old Quarter.

The Hoan Kiem District People's Committee has proposed tougher sanctions to be imposed on vendors who intentionally and repeatedly scam tourists. Local police are being advised to take legal proceedings where necessary.

The suggestion was issued after recent inspections in the area showed that little improvement is being made with the current attempts to tackle the problem, despite nearly 140 street vendors being fined in a one month period.

Some people had been fined up to four times but continued to flout the rules, said Nguyen Quoc Hoa, the deputy chairman of the committee, on Wednesday. He called for higher fines to be used as a deterrent. Under a Government decree issued in 2010 people currently only have to pay VND150,000 (US$7) for harassing foreign tourists.

Hoa also admitted that it was difficult to identify guilty street offenders without assistance from the victims. "Only when visitors notify the local police do we have the means and the reason to fine them". — VNS


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