Date
21 January 2017
Police search an Uber office in Cheung Sha Wan. They impounded five luxury vehicles (inset).
Photos: Metro Daily, Apple Daily
Police search an Uber office in Cheung Sha Wan. They impounded five luxury vehicles (inset). Photos: Metro Daily, Apple Daily

Police raid Uber offices, arrest five drivers and three staff

Police raided two offices in Hong Kong of Uber Technologies Inc. Tuesday, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Five of the drivers for the car-hailing service provider were arrested earlier in the day.

On Tuesday morning, police posing as customers used Uber’s smartphone app to hail five “pak pai” cars — vehicles without car hire permits.

They arrested the drivers after being driven to their destinations and paying the fares with credit cards, Chief Inspector Bruce Hung of Kowloon West traffic enforcement and control said.

The five drivers, aged between 28 and 65, were suspected of illegally using private cars for purposes of rental or driving customers for monetary rewards, as well as driving without third-party insurance.

In the afternoon, police searched Uber offices in Cheung Sha Wan and Central, taking away three employees, several computers and numerous documents.

The three men, aged between 21 and 29, were accused of assisting and instigating the drivers.

All of the eight arrested have been granted bail and must report to police by mid-September.

Hung, who is confident the arrested drivers will be prosecuted, called on citizens not to hire pak pai cars, as their lack of third-party insurance might render passengers unable to seek compensation in the event of an accident.

Uber told the media Tuesday night that Hongkongers have explicitly expressed their wish to have more diversified and better means of transport, and each of its drivers has passed thorough background checks.

While fully supporting its drivers, the firm said, it also expects to work with the authorities to improve regulations, as the safety and interests of passengers and drivers are its priorities.

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