A Singaporean was allegedly asked for a tip when passing through immigration at an airport in Vietnam.
The traveller revealed in a Facebook post on Jan 2 that he was at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport’s immigration counter, departing to Singapore, when he found a note at the back of his boarding pass saying “tip.”
“He was holding my passport and asking for it,” the traveller said. When he asked the immigration officer for what, the latter “just kept pointing to what he wrote.”
“I didn’t know what to do or whom to ask for help, and I was also rushing for my flight,” he added, and eventually handed the officer S$28.57 (500,000 Vietnamese dong).
The concerned individual thought this practice might be normal in other countries, but he felt like he was being held hostage. “If I didn’t give the money, I wouldn’t get my passport chopped,” he noted.
Netizens agreed that this behaviour was considered normal in countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia.
“Normal in Cambodia and Vietnam. Next time just auto slip in cash inside your passport like S$10 worth will do,” said a netizen.
“You wouldn’t wanna know what happens regularly in Indonesia. But I come to live with it as they do this mostly to supplement their low income and support their families,” commented Facebook user KJ Goh. “Not all of cos and no one wants to be held ransom. Sorry you had to experience this.”
Meanwhile, one Travis Gan said he encountered the same thing a few years ago but decided not to give the immigration officer any money. “Nothing happened, actually.”
The traveller highlighted in the post that he reported the incident to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“It goes against my principles and values when I surrender to corruption, especially to people who people have faith in,” he told BBC Vietnam.
Following the incident, the immigration officer in question was put on administrative leave.
VietnamNet reported that the Immigration Department received a report from the Noi Bai Airport police and quickly suspended the officer./TISG
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