Two taxi drivers were arrested on Sunday for overcharging their clients, as the police continue a crackdown after receiving various complaints about errant cabbies.
In the latest case, taxi drivers were booked after they were found to be charging three to four times the normal meter fare for people visiting the High Island Reservoir in Sai Kung, Sky Post reports.
High Island Reservoir is among the local attractions recommended by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) for people coming to the city on leisure trips.
To bust the overcharging racket, undercover police officers boarded two New Territory taxis at the East Dam of the reservoir at around 2pm on Sunday.
When one of the taxis arrived in Sai Kung, the driver asked the five passengers to pay HK$85 each, which amounts to a total of HK$425 for the ride that would normally cost HK$120.
When the driver made the demand, the police officers identified themselves and arrested the man.
Investigations revealed that the driver, a 50-year-old surnamed Wong, was on the police’s wanted list as he had failed to pay penalties for some traffic violations earlier.
In another case the same day, a police officer who boarded a taxi was asked to pay HK$300 for a ride from the reservoir to Pak Tam Chung, a journey that would normally cost HK$70.
The driver was taken into custody.
Hong Kong Global Geopark, which is near the High Island Reservoir, is on the Lonely Planet’s list of recommended destinations in Hong Kong.
Lack of public transport arrangement has created opportunities for unscrupulous taxi drivers to take advantage of visitors, Apple Daily points out.
The tourists have no option but to pay what the taxi drivers demand, the paper noted.
Under Hong Kong law, taxi drivers who refuse to charge by the meter or those who charge fares with a dishonest intent can face a fine of HK$3,000 and imprisonment of up to six months.
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