Police arrest 21 Uber drivers in sting

The drivers were arrested for illegally carrying passengers for reward and for not having third party insurance.

null

The sting comes as the San Francisco company has encountered regulatory roadblocks around the world, despite its huge popularity, and after five Uber drivers in the southern Chinese city were found guilty of operating without proper licences in March.

Those drivers were arrested in a police swoop in 2015 after furious traditional cabbies smashed up their own taxis with hammers and called for authorities to act over unlicensed cars.

Police spokesman Edwin Lau told reporters 20 men and one woman had been arrested.

"We sent decoys on many trips, eventually we took all the evidence," Lau said, describing the undercover operation that took place earlier this month.

The drivers were arrested for illegally carrying passengers for reward and for not having third party insurance, he said.

Uber is the most prominent of several smartphone apps that are shaking up the traditional taxi landscape in cities around the world.

But it has faced criticism and significant resistance from regulators in several countries, who accuse it of unfair competition and a lack of standards.

"We are extremely disappointed by the police enforcement today. We stand together with the twenty-one driver partners and their families," An Uber spokesman said in response.

"Ridesharing should not be a crime. Hong Kong is an international city known for its embrace of global economic trends and new technologies, but current transportation regulations have failed to keep up with innovation," he said.

Uber also added that its ridesharing insurance policy complies with the city's legal requirements.

In April, Uber said it would relaunch its services in Taiwan with a new business model following a two-month hiatus on the island after sparring with authorities over legal issues.

In January, Taiwanese authorities hiked the maximum possible penalty to Tw$25 million ($816,000) per driver -- the highest in the world.

The company withdrew from the market a month later, criticising the government's actions for hindering innovation and calling on President Tsai Ing-wen to take action.

It was also fined in April for operating an illegal taxi service in South Korea, where the service had sparked angry protests from taxi drivers.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

UDA unveils Rigathi Gachagua's replacement in Mathira parliamentary race

UDA unveils Rigathi Gachagua's replacement in Mathira parliamentary race

Inside the vicious Ruto-Raila  fight for Mt Kenya votes

Inside the vicious Ruto-Raila fight for Mt Kenya votes

Junet claps back at Ruto over comment on Karua

Junet claps back at Ruto over comment on Karua

Kabogo: My party is not behind heckling Martha Karua in Kiambaa

Kabogo: My party is not behind heckling Martha Karua in Kiambaa

DP Ruto’s gift to be pushed on wheelbarrow from Nakuru to Nairobi

DP Ruto’s gift to be pushed on wheelbarrow from Nakuru to Nairobi

Election was decided on Monday - Lee Kinyanjui's statement sparks debate

Election was decided on Monday - Lee Kinyanjui's statement sparks debate

Inside Martha Karua's first week as Raila's running mate

Inside Martha Karua's first week as Raila's running mate

Cate Waruguru reveals DP Ruto's offer after losing UDA nomination

Cate Waruguru reveals DP Ruto's offer after losing UDA nomination

Alvin Chivondo arrested for shoplifting again

Alvin Chivondo arrested for shoplifting again