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Unlicensed taxi operators assault Hanoi airport security staff

On Friday, security officer Nguyen Van Diep saw a female broker, Tran Thi Ly, trying to lure passengers for an unregistered taxi at the airport’s domestic terminal. 

He tried to stop her, but Ly and two other men, whose identities have not been confirmed, got violent and assaulted him. Diep was hospitalized with four broken teeth and other bruises on his body.

The incident, deemed “serious,” prompted Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh to ask Hanoi authorities to launch an urgent probe and take tough action against the accused.  

Ly has been detained, pending criminal investigation for “resisting persons in the performance of their official duties,” a crime punishable by up to seven years in jail under Vietnam’s Penal Code. Police are looking for her accomplices.

According to the airport’s management board, Ly was a professional taxi broker and has been warned several times for disrupting public order at the airport.

Unlicensed taxi services, run by individuals blatantly picking up passengers in private cars, have become rampant at Vietnamese airports for several years now.

Police officers at Noi Bai last year handled as many as 823 cases, most of which involved unauthorized taxi services and brokers luring passengers. Five cases of airport security officers being attacked by taxi brokers were also recorded in 2018, but no tough action was taken against them.

In another incident of airport violence, three Vietnamese men received a one-year flight ban last December for assaulting a VietJet female employee in the central province of Thanh Hoa. They were outraged because she refused to take photos with them. The three men are also being investigated for disturbing public order.