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Fifteen illegal drivers prosecuted for Taxi and Private Hire offences

Driver fined over £1,000 for Private Hire offences

· TfL determined to rid London of illegal drivers and operators who pose a threat to public safety

Transport for London (TfL) has successfully prosecuted a further fifteen drivers in the last two months (July – August), as part of its on-going crack-down on illegal taxi and private hire (TPH) activity in the Capital.

TfL’s TPH Compliance team carry out thousands of checks on licensed vehicles and driver licences across London to help keep the public safe and stamp out illegal TPH activity. They also undertake hundreds of investigations into complaints from customers and from the legitimate taxi and private hire trade.

Some of the recent prosecution cases led by the TPH Compliance team are summarised below:

Ian Vassell, 46, from Dagenham, was convicted at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 21 August 2015. He was caught on Charterhouse Street illegally plying for hire, accepting a private hire (PH) booking without a PH operator’s licence and for using a car for PH use on a public road without the correct insurance, PH vehicle licence or PH driver’s licence.

Vassell was found guilty of all five offences, fined a total of £330 and ordered to pay TfL’s legal costs of £500. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Peter Emeka, 39, from Dagenham, was convicted at City of London Magistrates’ Court on 12 August 2015. He was caught on Charterhouse Street illegally accepting a PH booking without a PH operator’s licence, illegally plying for hire, using a car for PH use without a PH vehicle licence or PH driver’s licence, and using a car for PH use on a public road without the correct insurance.

Emeka was found guilty of all five offences, fined a total of £800 and ordered to pay TfL’s legal costs of £360 . He was also disqualified from driving for six months.

Kwaku Yamoah Kesse, 59, from South East London, was convicted at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 8 August 2015. He was caught on Clapham High Street illegally plying for hire, illegally accepting PH bookings and using a car for PH use on a public road without the correct insurance. He was found guilty of all three offences, fined a total of £1,210 and ordered to pay TfL’s legal costs of £500. He was also disqualified from driving for three months.

Dosso Costea, 55, a taxi driver from East London, was convicted at Westminster Magistrates’ court on 22 July 2015. He was caught in central London working after the expiry of his driver’s licence and using a vehicle for passenger hire on a public road without the correct insurance. He was found guilty of both offences, fined a total of £550 and ordered to pay TfL’s legal costs of £150. His DVLA licence was also endorsed with six penalty points.

Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: “These results show our commitment to help rid the Capital’s streets of illegal and unsafe Taxi and Private Hire activity. The public’s safety is our primary focus and we will continue to work with our policing partners to catch and prosecute anyone who puts the public at risk, and who undermines the legitimate, licensed Taxi and Private Hire trade.”

These cases led by TfL’s TPH Compliance and Legal teams, are in addition to prosecutions which are put forward by London’s policing agencies for touting and other cab-related offences, through the criminal justice system, to improve taxi and private hire safety across the Capital.

The public can report touting or illegal cabs on the TfL website here: https://tfl.gov.uk/forms/12368.aspx.
ENDS

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