Police have reported a recent series of cases where taxi drivers refuse to pay change or even drive away with passengers' luggage - with one tourist losing luxury items worth HK$70,000.
Police received 10 such complaints since May. The latest arrest was of a 48-year-old driver who short-changed a plainclothes officer posing as a tourist last night.
The driver charged HK$100 from Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, to Kowloon MTR station - a route that usually costs about HK$50 with the baggage fee.
"When they arrived at the destination, the officer gave the taxi driver a HK$500 banknote," said Chief Inspector Wong Chi-wai, of the Yau Tsim District crime investigation unit.
After the luggage was unloaded, "the driver claimed he only received HK$100, refused to pay the change and drove away".
The taxi was stopped by police at 8pm. The driver will be charged with theft.
Wong said the crimes, which cost victims tens of thousands of dollars, were a new development.
"We have no records of such crimes in 2011. And they mainly happened in Tsim Sha Tsui, where tourists flock for [designer] items."
He said there was no indication of involvement by organised crime, and that more undercover operations were under way.