TfL press release.
THREE rogue minicab drivers have been convicted of illegal plying for hire and accepting bookings without holding a private hire operator licence.
All three drivers were caught illegally plying for hire by Transport for London’s (TfL) Taxi & Private Hire Compliance team in three separate incidents in the West End in December 2012 and January this year. The courts ordered all three drivers to pay fines and costs which totalled nearly £4,500.
Two of the drivers, Arnold John-Mensah and Anas Amiri, were both licensed private hire drivers and were ordered by Westminster Magistrates Court to pay fines and costs which came to £1,200 and £1,710 respectively.
The other driver, Arif Said Moqiam, was posing as a legitimate minicab driver despite being completely unlicensed. He was ordered by the City of London Magistrates Court to pay £500 for each offence, plus a victim surcharge of £15. He was also ordered to pay £960 in costs.
This brings the total up to four successful convictions for illegal plying for hire in recent months with many more cases currently awaiting court dates.
Helen Chapman, TfL’s General Manager for Taxi & Private Hire, said: “We welcome the courts’ decisions in these cases. These drivers were blatantly flouting the law by picking up passengers without being pre-booked and one bogus driver was wilfully putting the public’s safety at risk by pretending to be a legitimate driver, fully aware that he had not gone through the thorough criminal and medical checks that we insist on before we licence a driver.
“In recent years we have spent time reviewing the law and building some solid cases for illegal plying for hire prior to testing these in court. Clearly the fruits of our labour are now being rewarded and I hope this acts as a stark reminder to all bogus drivers and licensed private hire drivers that breaking the law will not be tolerated and can result in a criminal conviction.
“These convictions are a result of the important work carried out by TfL’s Compliance Officers, who are out every night of the week to enhance the safety of the travelling public in London.
“I urge the public to remember that that only licensed taxis (black cabs) can be hailed on street or outside a venue and any minicab journeys should be pre-booked through a licensed private hire operator, details of which can be found through our free Cabwise app.”