Scottish tourist found after being kidnapped by taxi driver in Hanoi: report

Lifestyle

He and his friend may have argued with the driver about the fare.

A Scottish tourist who was reported to have been kidnapped by a taxi driver in Hanoi in the early hours of Saturday has been found, British media reported.

Vietnamese police and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office had been working together after Connor Leslie was reported missing on Saturday, a spokesman from the office told The Press and Journal.

“Connor Leslie was taken against his will by a taxi driver at roughly 2.30 a.m. last night and has not been seen since,” said a Facebook post shared by his friends, which includes a photo of Leslie taken on Saturday night.

His last location before he disappeared with the driver was at 395 Lac Long Quang Street in Tay Ho District, as given by his friends.

This photo was taken by Connor Leslie’s friends on Saturday night in Hanoi. His friends posted it on their Facebook and Instagram later, announcing that he was missing.

The 23 year-old tourist was on a night out with two friends when they accepted a lift back to their hotel from an off-duty taxi driver. But instead of dropping them all off, the driver allegedly drove off with Leslie, said Jordan Farquhar, Leslie’s friend from Scotland who had been in touch with the group in Hanoi.

It was their first night in Hanoi.

Leslie’s family was quoted in a Sunday report by the BBC as saying that Vietnamese police had found him alive but “it is not yet known where he is or what condition he is in.”

Friends and family could not contact him on his mobile after he went missing and his cousin said on Saturday afternoon that his messaging app had been offline for about 17 hours.

Leslie and his friends may have had an argument with the taxi driver about the fare, according to the BBC.

Stories about local taxi drivers asking for higher fares from foreigners are not new in Vietnam.

Tourists have repeatedly shared warnings about unscrupulous cabbies on social media to help those who are new in Vietnam, especially Saigon and Hanoi, the country’s two biggest cities.

Official government data showed Vietnam received over 9.4 million foreign visitors in the first nine months of this year, up 28.4 percent against the same period last year, including more than 213,000 tourists from U.K., a 12 percent rise.