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Police Advise Beware Bogus Taxis

Police Advise Beware Bogus Taxis
New Zealand Police National News Release
12:28pm 31 March 2006

Concern at the growing number of bogus taxi drivers operating in the Auckland region, has prompted police to go on an all out offensive to take them off the road.

Acting Senior Sergeant Brian Locke of the Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit, [CVIU], says an unacceptably high level of offending exists among some taxi drivers.

"It is most concerning that we are detecting some drivers who are operating illegally. At three recent drink drive checkpoints more than 21 logbook and driving hour offences were identified, along with 43 taxi equipment offences including unsealed meters."

"At Parnell, Police detected a vehicle that appeared to be a taxi. The female passenger had been uplifted in the central city, and wanted to go to the North Shore. - but the taxi driver was heading totally in the opposite direction."

"Police ascertained that the male offender was not in fact a licensed taxi driver. He told Police he purchased the operational taxi equipment in a bar. He then decided to operate on his own account as a taxi," Senior Sergeant Locke said.

"The taxi company whose name was displayed on the vehicle had no knowledge of his activities. Police charged the offender with operating an unlicensed passenger service, logbook offences, and using the meter with intent to defraud," he said.

"Further investigation by Police revealed that this offender was driving under another name and was a disqualified driver. A motorway patrol unit later found him driving another vehicle that appeared to be a taxi on North West motorway. On this occasion, the passenger was also a female."

"The driver was arrested and charged with driving while disqualified, as well as offences relating to the operation of a taxi service. At his home, Police located taxi roof signs, door signs and cab identification numbers that he intended using. Some of these were allegedly stolen, but the majority had been merely declared "lost" by their owners. He has since been convicted on 12 charges, including driving while disqualified, logbook and taxi service offences, and sentenced to a term of imprisonment."

"The CVIU will continue its strenuous efforts to reduce the level of offending among drivers of all commercial vehicles, such as taxis, buses, shuttles, trucks and light diesel vehicles," Acting Senior Sergeant Brian Locke said.


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