A Chinese man was allegedly beaten by Vietnamese customs officials when he refused to give them a tip.
The 28-year-old victim, surnamed Xie, was among a trio of tourists returning to China from Vietnam earlier this month. He went on the trip to shoot pre-wedding photographs with his fiancée and mother.
According to his fiancée, customs officials demanded tips three times when they entered Vietnam through Mong Cai port on January 25. They asked 30 to 50 yuan ($4 to $8) per person each time.
While leaving on February 7, an unidentified woman approached them for money again.
When Xie wanted to check such fees in the Chinese embassy, the woman called seven to eight uniformed officials, who surrounded and brutally attacked him at once.
Xie’s mother filmed the attack but was restrained shortly. Her phone and their passports were confiscated. Xie was then forced to write that officials did not get violent with him and that his injuries had nothing to do with them.
Upon complying, their properties were returned and they reached China.
Xie’s fiancée immediately sought help from border officials at Dongxing Port, who rushed to bring her injured fiancé to a hospital.
After hearing the incident, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded in a statement (via South China Morning Post):
“The Chinese embassy in Vietnam and the foreign ministry’s consular affairs department have both made solemn representation to Vietnamese foreign ministry and its embassy in China, expressed serious concern to the incident and strong condemnation against violence by Vietnamese officials.”
“The culprits should be punished severely. They should apologise to the victim and compensate for his losses,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry told Reuters that it was “clarifying” the information given by China and would “resolve the issue (according to) the nature of the event.”