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Police battle against rogue tour operators and taxi drivers

September 9, 2013 DESTINATION, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Police in China and Hong Kong remain on constant alert for unscrupulous travel agents, tour and transport operators.

Recent cases have included a travel agency that stranded 50 tourists who booked for a tour of Inner Mongolia. The Beijing Morning News reported that a travel agent charged a fee for the tour, collected it and drove his clients out of Beijing. Once the tourists were sufficiently distant, the agent and tour operator demanded another fee of 150 yuan (about AUD26) each.

When the indignant clients refused to pay, they were offloaded and left on the roadside in a remote prairie called the Bashang grassland. The paper did not disclose how they managed to get back home.

In another example of bad behaviour, a Hong Kong taxi driver has been jailed for 10 weeks for stealing his passengers’ luggage and abandoning it in a drain after a dispute over the fare.

Fung Kim-wai, 34, had earlier pleaded guilty to theft.

Magistrate Bernadette Woo Huey Fang rejected Fung’s offer to compensate his passengers for the loss of their goods, worth HKD 60,830 (about AUD 8500). She instead sentenced him to immediate imprisonment.

The magistrate said Fung had damaged Hong Kong’s reputation, the South China Morning Post reported. Rigorous punishment was needed to warn other taxi drivers.

Fung’s two passengers had hailed his taxi at Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport. A subsequent dispute over the exchange rate of the Hong Kong dollar and the mainland Chinese yuan led to Fung telling his passengers to get out, and to retrieve their suitcases from the boot.

Once they got out, however, Fung drove off with their cases.

In a fit of pique, he later hurled the cases (which contained valuables and fashionable clothes) into a drain. He didn’t pilfer the cases or steal the contents. Other people no doubt helped themselves to those, perhaps feeling that their lucky day had arrived.

Written by : Peter Needham

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