Over 3000 vehicles seized for offering car lifts in UAE

Over 3000 vehicles seized for offering car lifts in UAE
Over 3000 vehicles seized for offering car lifts in UAE

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Most of the drivers were caught by undercover officers.

More than 3,000 private cars were seized in Abu Dhabi last year after their owners were found using the vehicles for unauthorised car lift services, police said on Saturday.

The motorists were caught picking up passengers by the road and then ferrying them to various areas in the Capital.

The Abu Dhabi Police said a total of 3,376 vehicles were seized during the 1,115 inspection campaigns carried out across the emirate last year. Operations were conducted in coordination with the Integrated Transport Centre.

Most of the drivers were caught by undercover officers as they picked up or dropped off commuters.

Modus operandi

Police investigations suggested that majority of the cars offering illegal cab services are owned by individuals, not companies. Sometimes, the owners employ unlicensed drivers.

The unauthorised service usually transports commuters travelling from the city to the outskirts like Musaffah industrial area, Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Bani Yas, and other areas, especially during the weekend.

Drivers - mostly Asian men - charge around Dh10 per person and take in four passengers at a time.

Brigadier-General Mohammed Suhail Al Rashdi, director of the Criminal Security Sector, said: "Drivers operating the illegal taxis don't have licences or permission to offer this service. In addition, some of the vehicles are not insured."

The Department of Transport (DoT) authorities have previously warned that illegal cabs pose dangers to the safety of commuters, as people driving these cars are unlicensed and may be staying the country illegally.

Officials urged the public to refrain from using such services and to rely only on cabs with certified licence plates.

According to the Federal Traffic Law, the penalty for illegally transporting passengers carries a fine of Dh3,000; 24 traffic points; and a 30-day car impoundment.

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

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