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Canada Beware of 'pirate taxis,' Gatineau police warn

16:10  28 november  2019
16:10  28 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Pirate taxis will not continue wreaking havoc in the city if prospective commuters are boarding at designated areas,” said Chief Insp Simango. Chief Insp Simango said the fight against crime in the city requires a collaborative approach and urged the public to partner the police force in flashing out

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A file photo of a person getting into a cab © Getty A file photo of a person getting into a cab

Gatineau police are warning the public they could be placing themselves in harm's way when they hop into an illegal taxi.

Police fined 26 "pirate cab" drivers during a sting conducted over two weekends in November. They acknowledged the sting was inspired by a Radio-Canda investigation into the shadowy industry.

The vehicles have no signs on their roofs, no meter to keep track of fares, and no phone number or app to hail them. Instead, drivers often wait near bars and restaurants in Old Hull, calling out "Taxi! Uber!" to prospective customers, some of whom may believe they're getting into a legitimate cab or Uber vehicle.

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Robin Muchetu, Senior reporter POLICE have warned the public against boarding unregistered pirate taxis popularly known as mshikashika as cases Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said this while responding to a case of a local man who was robbed last week in Kumalo

The Harare City Council has launched an operation to rid the central business district of pirate taxi operators, colloquially referred to as mshika-shika. We sometimes see municipal police parked opposite illegal pirate taxis with no action being taken. This will no longer be tolerated”-Daily News.

Typically, drivers and customers agree on a set price for the ride.

"They are picking up people, people who are often intoxicated, [who] maybe [don't] know that it is not a legal taxi. They get in and they ask for a certain amount of money to get to the point where the person wants to go," said Gatineau police spokesperson Andrée East.

But customers could be walking into serious trouble, East said.

"We have reason to believe that some sexual assaults have occurred, and some assaults have occurred also."

There have been no formal complaints and no charges related to any assaults, but East said police are investigating. They're asking any potential victims to come forward, and to know that even if they don't want to press charges there is help available to them.

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The warning comes in a wake of increased use of pirate taxis and unregistered motor vehicles for criminal activities that have left some victims dead and injured in some He noted that criminals had taken advantage of pirate taxis which they are using to attack and kill people in unclear circumstances.

No background check

All licensed taxi drivers in Quebec undergo a background check, but East said illegal taxis aren't regulated and therefore can't be tracked down if there's an incident.

"We don't know who are those people. Have they already committed [a] criminal infraction?" she asked. "Do they have other purposes than making money?"

a close up of a car: Unlicensed drivers in unmarked vehicles are filling unmet demand for rides late at night in Gatineau's Old Hull bar and restaurant district. © Provided by cbc.ca Unlicensed drivers in unmarked vehicles are filling unmet demand for rides late at night in Gatineau's Old Hull bar and restaurant district.

Gatineau police said they haven't reached out to their Ottawa counterparts about the investigation yet, but plan to do so.

Ottawa police would not confirm if they've received similar information about sexual assaults in unlicensed taxis, saying they would not comment on any "ongoing investigations."

In 2018, Ottawa police charged two men allegedly posing as Uber drivers with sexual assault. 

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The warning comes in a wake of increased use of pirate taxis and unregistered motor vehicles for criminal activities that have left some victims dead and He however disclosed that RTSA was working with the Zambia Police to address the situation and encourage the public to use registered modes of

Crime Reporter Police yesterday warned pirate taxi and kombi drivers that they risk having their vehicles impounded if they are found with In a statement, chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said they had noted with concern such unacceptable behaviour.

Uber, taxi drivers among those fined

The joint investigation was carried out by Gatineau police and officers from the Service du Contrôle routier du Québec (CRQ), which monitors commercial vehicles in the province on Nov. 15, 16, 22 and 23. It didn't yield any criminal charges.

Fourteen Ontario residents were each fined $2,500 plus $1,000 in fees for offering taxi services without a proper permit. Many of the vehicles were rentals, according to the CRQ. One of the vehicles was a rental from Quebec, but was driven by an Ontario resident. 

Those included three Uber drivers accused of picking up passengers who didn't use the Uber app to hail them.

Additionally, nine licensed taxi drivers from Ontario were fined for picking up and dropping off passengers in Quebec. Currently, they're only allowed to drop off passengers from Ontario in Quebec, or pick up fares headed back to Ontario.

Three Quebec taxi drivers were also fined between $125 and $375, plus fees, for picking up and dropping off passengers outside their designated sectors in Gatineau.

One driver was charged with impaired driving.

Family of slain Gatineau filmmaker devastated by not guilty verdict .
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