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China: Around The Nation

Fake taxis with forged licence plates, rigged fare meters seized in Shanghai crackdown

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 May, 2016, 11:49am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 May, 2016, 11:49am

Shanghai traffic police on Tuesday seized 13 fake cabs in their latest crackdown on the illegal taxi business.

The fake cabs, parked in villages in Pudong district on the eastern outskirts of the city, used forged number plates and taxi licences, the Shanghai Morning Post reported.

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Three of them also had devices installed to add mileage to their fare meters, according to an officer involved in the operation. The devices were used to charge passengers higher fares.

To avoid getting caught, the fake taxis usually operated in the evenings and parked in remote areas in the day. They would also remove their taxi dome lights, number plates and fare meters to avoid attention, according to the officer.

No drivers were found in the crackdown.

Anyone convicted of running an illegal taxi business faces a 3,000-yuan (HK$3,560) fine, detention of up to 15 days and may have their driving licence revoked.

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According to the report, the fake taxis were configured from old cabs made obsolete by local taxi firms. Some big companies would make obsolete a few thousand vehicles a year, the report said.

The cost of obtaining a fake taxi, including its dome light, fare meter and number plate, comes up to less than 30,000 yuan, an industry insider told the newspaper.

Pudong traffic police have seized 60 such taxis so far this year.