(Yicai Global) Aug. 11 -- The Public Security Bureau in Jiuzhaigou County, Sichuan province will hold a private driver in custody for 10 days on alleged extortion after he was caught demanding sky-high fares from stranded tourists affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck on Aug. 8.
Five tourists, including two women and three minors, hired the car near the Jiuzhaigou scenic spot after the tremor to go to Wen County in China’s northwestern Gansu province, reports on a social networking platform said yesterday morning.
Before the trip, the fare was set at CNY2,500 (USD370). However, the driver refused to drive further unless the tourists paid more. They subsequently paid an extra CNY1,000 to arrive at their destination.
Jiuzhaigou County Public Security Bureau managed to confirm the reports with affected passengers and immediately opened an investigation.
The police caught the 29-year old suspect at around 2.00 p.m. on Aug. 10. The male driver, surnamed Zhang, admitted to asking passengers for CNY1,000 more during the trip in the early hours of Aug. 9 as he knew that they were anxious to leave the earthquake-stricken area.
After criticism from his family, returned the CNY3,500 to the tourists. He asked the police to express his regrets on his behalf.