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Deportation for British Beggar in Saigon

You may have noticed an elderly British man begging for money at the intersection of Ly Tu Trong and Pham Hong Thai in District 1 over the last few months. According to multiple reports, he has overstayed his welcome due to his habit of throwing away small denomination bank notes and getting angry with those donating small sums of money. Oh, and his visa expired last December.

The man, who hasn't been identified by name, has been playing a harmonica at the intersection since late November in order to afford medical treatments at FV Hospital.

A reporter from Kenh 14 visited the man in mid-January and gave him VND50,000 before asking him if he would seek help from the British Embassy:

“The foreigner got furious when she suggested he should contact the British Embassy for help.”

A nearby street vendor told the reporter that the man was raking in more than local beggars, sometimes receiving donations of hundreds of thousands of dong from wealthy Vietnamese. To make matters worse, he would “throw away” VND1,000 and VND2,000 banknotes:

“Some foreign visitors once picked up small banknotes scattered around him and put them back into the milk-can he used to contain alms, only to be scolded.”

A representative from the man’s hotel told Kenh 14 that he had been renting a room for VND400,000 per night and has racked up VND14 million worth of unpaid bills.

They also denied the rumor that the man had lost his papers:

“S.W. never told me that his private papers were robbed since we are keeping them.”

An official of the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security told Tien Phong Newspaper on February 13 that the man would not be penalized and would be provided with a free-of-charge visa to leave Vietnam.

 

[Tuoi Tre]

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