A major transport operator in Ho Chi Minh City has raised fares amid heavy demand as the Lunar New Year or Tet is only days away, paving the way for scalpers and black marketers to thrive. According to the Eastern Coach Station, tickets to the central Thua Thien-Hue Province, Da Nang City or up north over January 27-30 are 40 percent higher. On Jan. 26, the number of passengers flocking to book tickets at the former cheap rates rose by 40,000, up 10,000 compared to normal days. Currently, over 35,000 tickets have been sold, equivalent to 800 trips during the Lunar New Year holidays. As always when prices and demands are high, scalpers easily squeeze in. This time, it is reported that they even accost customers right at official ticket counters. A passenger, Mr Phan Van Truong, complained that he bought a ticket to Ha Noi at VND70,000 higher than the listed price. After a responsible employee at the Eastern Coach Station’s counter announced there was no ticket left, “suddenly, there was another employee in uniform told me that he had a ticket and was willing to sell at VND884,000, up VND70,000”. “I had no choice at that moment since…
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