Eyewitness denies spitting claim in bus attendant-tourists dispute in Nha Trang


Vietnam’s National Committee for Traffic Safety has requested further investigation into the case in which a sleeper bus attendant verbally attacked two foreign female tourists and asked them to leave his vehicle in Nha Trang.


Following the request, the transport department in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa has summoned representative of the bus operator, Viet Nhat Co., to work.


“We are waiting for a more detailed report from the bus operator to decide their violations,” Nguyen Van Dan, deputy direct of the transport department, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday.


Viet Nhat Co. is registered in Ho Chi Minh City and only has a branch office in Nha Trang. “So we will transfer the case to the Ho Chi Minh City transport department to give the final punishment decision,” Dan added.


According to three videos posted on the Facebook of Celine Lin, a Taiwanese tourist, on July 26, an attendant of a Viet Nhat sleeper bus angrily shouted and cursed at two foreign tourists and asked them to leave the vehicle.


The man, who was fired by the bus company on Thursday, was also seen grabbing a stick in an attempt to attack another foreign man in one of the video, which has been shared more than 2 million times on Facebook.


The attendant has previously reported to his employer that he had lost his temper as one of the female tourists had spit into his face when they were arguing over seat arrangements on the Nha Trang-Ho Chi Minh City bus.


The footage sparked online debate as to who was at fault in the incident.


“What the videos show to the online community has caused disadvantage and disagreement to foreign tourists and outrage among the local public, as well as affected the reputation of the national tourism,” Nguyen Trong Thai, head of the secretariat of the National Committee for Traffic Safety, said.


Thai therefore demanded that Khanh Hoa police direct relevant agencies to look into the case and handle anyone responsible for the wrongdoings.


On Friday, Lin, the author of the viral videos, also talked to Tuoi Tre as to what really happened on the bus that day, claiming that the bus attendant had given a false version of events.


No spitting


Lin, whose real name is Lin Hsui Ling, told Tuoi Tre that she was angry to know of the ‘spitting’ allegations from the bus attendant.


Lin confirmed that the passengers and conductor had been quarreling over the seat arrangements, with the tourists’ request to move to a window seat rejected.


However, the Taiwanese said allegations that the foreign women were smoking and under the influence of alcohol at the time, and spit into the face of the attendant were all false.


Lin said it was the attendant who smoked and scattered the cigar ash all over the bus, of which she has taken some photos as proof.


The Taiwanese tourist also expressed skepticism over a statement from a Viet Nhat Co representative, who said the two women in question had apologized to their spitting act.


“I wonder how they could find the two tourists to listen to their apology,” she said.


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