A private hire taxi driver, who was found guilty of picking up illegal passengers in Manchester, has been ordered to pay £682 and handed six penalty points for driving without a license.
26-year-old Arfan Waheed of Wythenshawe was fined £335 with costs of £300. He was also given a £27 victim of crime surcharge.
In the early hours of Sunday 10 May city council officers who were working on a routine night shift in the city centre, saw a private hire vehicle driven by Waheed drop off its passengers on Whitworth Street West.
The officers then observed on as two people approached Waheed’s vehicle and engaged him in conversation, before getting in to the vehicle. It is illegal for private hire taxi drivers to pick up passengers who flag them down on the street, and doing so may invalidate their insurance. All journeys taken in private hire taxis must be pre-arranged through the base operator.
Investigating officers later enquired with the private hire operator that Waheed worked for and discovered that no booking had been logged by the operator, for a pick up at that time, date and location. At the hearing Waheed pleaded guilty to the offences of driving without valid insurance and illegally plying for hire.
Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods Councillor Nigel Murphy, has remarked, “We regard illegally plying for hire as a serious offence and the punishment handed out by the court shows they agree. Let this send a warning to rogue drivers that the consequences for illegally operating any taxi are both serious and costly”.
Mr. Murphy also added “When looking for a taxi remember, only Manchester licensed hackney carriage drivers are allowed to pick passengers up from the side of the road within our city boundaries”.