A taxi driver was arrested for overcharging in an undercover police operation in the popular dining and night-time entertainment hotspot of Lan Kwai Fong over the weekend.
The driver was booked as he asked his passenger for HK$200, when the actual meter fare would have been no more than HK$22, Ming Pao Daily reports.
A police officer posed as a passenger and took a taxi in Wellington Street in Central and asked to be taken to a hotel at Jervois street in Sheung Wan.
After the 800-meter journey, the taxi driver presented a bill of HK$200, about nine times the usual meter fare.
The case was the most egregious among all taxi overcharging cases recorded this month, according to the report.
The sting operation came amid a joint campaign by the Western and Eastern police districts against errant taxi drivers.
The driver was immediately arrested for “overcharging”, “failing to move the taximeter indicator to the recording position” and for “failing to show the taxi driver identity plate”.
In the weekend operation, 10 other drivers received penalty tickets for refusing hires.
For November as a whole, the police have arrested 10 taxi drivers for overcharging and handed out 48 penalty tickets to drivers for refusing passengers.
David Yip Wing-shing, chairman of the Central & Western district council, said the council has been communicating with the police from time to time over the issue of errant taxi drivers.
As the Lan Kwai Fong area is frequented by tourists, “black sheep” drivers seek out opportunities to fleece visitors, Yip noted.
The police have assured that they will keep launching undercover operations from time to time to crack down on the taxi cheats, he added.
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