In a fresh crackdown on Uber, Hong Kong police have arrested 21 drivers of the ride-hailing service for illegally carrying passengers without proper permits in the Asian city.
The drivers, 20 men and one woman between the ages of 21 and 59, were arrested in an undercover operation by the police for illegally carrying passengers for hire without proper vehicle hire permits and for also not having third-party risk insurance for their cars. They were taken into custody and their vehicles were impounded.
“I would like to emphasize that police are still continuing their enforcement action and I can’t rule out the possibility of more drivers being arrested,” Chief Inspector of Police Lau Tat-fai of Kowloon West district said.
He also called up on Uber to ensure cars for hire are equipped with permit as required by Hong Kong laws, adding that those who assist or instigate drivers might have to bear legal responsibility.
Uber said it was “extremely disappointed” with the police action.
“We stand together with the twenty-one driver partners and their families, and will continue to provide assistance, including legal support, during this difficult time,” Uber stated.
According to Uber, it has a ride-sharing insurance policy that covers up to HK$100 million in liability and complies with Hong Kong legal requirements.
In March, a court in Hong Kong found five Uber drivers guilty of the same charges and fined them HK$10,000 each. Uber has said it would help the five drivers to appeal their court case.
In February, Uber announced its move to halt operations in Taiwan, due to conflict on the legalities as well as mounting taxes and fines in the island. But in April, the company said it will relaunch its services in Taiwan with a new business model.
by RTT Staff Writer
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