• Thu
  • Jul 10, 2014
  • Updated: 5:36pm
NewsHong Kong
CRIME

Fare row cabbie arrested after allegedly dumping passengers' valuables in nullah at Tin Shui Wai

Police divers carry out search after passengers' bags of valuables are allegedly ditched in nullah

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 August, 2013, 6:38am
 

Police frogmen searched a nullah for sunken "treasure" yesterday after a dispute over a taxi fare allegedly caused a cabbie to go off the deep end.

The 34-year-old driver picked up two passengers at Chek Lap Kok airport shortly after 2am on Tuesday for the 40-kilometre journey to the Lok Ma Chau border crossing.

The passengers were laden with HK$60,000 of cameras and wine, which they put in the boot. But when they arrived at their destination, they asked to pay the HK$290 fare in yuan.

Police said the angry driver insisted on a one-to-one exchange rate, but his passengers, one of whom was from the mainland, disagreed.

So the cabbie allegedly then drove off without the money, but with their bags still in the boot.

Border district police chief inspector Tony Chan Chi-ho said the driver dumped the bags into the nullah near his home at Tin Heng Estate in Tin Shui Wai. He was arrested on suspicion of theft on Thursday and, according to Chan, said he did not intend to steal anything and had not even opened the bags. He was later released on bail.

A search for the luggage was launched in the drainage channel, but by last night it had proved fruitless. It was not clear if it would resume today.

One of the passengers, who lives in Shenzhen, said in a television interview yesterday that he had been left "very frightened and angry" by the incident.

"I thought Hong Kong was safer than the mainland. I never thought this kind of thing would happen in Hong Kong," he said, adding that he was so distraught he could not sleep for two nights. "I told the driver that even if he accepted 90 yuan (HK$113) to HK$100, he would still be in profit."

He said he would be more careful when he took taxi again in Hong Kong and would definitely avoid putting his valuable belongings in the boot.

The police said they were concerned about the alleged theft.

They appealed to passengers to take note of taxi drivers' details and the licence plate just in case.

Meanwhile, two other cabbies were arrested on Friday for not charging fares according to the meter in a police operation.

Five drivers were also given penalty tickets for refusing hires.

In one case, a police officer posing as a passenger boarded a taxi in Central and said he wanted to go to Yau Ma Tei.

The cabbie told him it would cost HK$200 and was arrested when the taxi got to Yau Ma Tei.

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19

This article is now closed to comments

josephyang
This is the problem with you hongkies - you do not understand sarcasm - I think the author above was trying to be funny, but unfortunately, in many cases, it takes intelligence to understand humor, and I think both tksiow and tomonday below have too low of an intelligence to understand the humor. I think you are probably too stupid to be reading an English language newspaper, please revert back to Apple Daily.
tomonday
if you believe your JPY is worth something here, you are an idiot, please don't treat us like one of you
r6b
This would not have been a problem in Macau, where taxi drivers routinely accept both HK$ and RMB. Additionally, many stores in HK now accept RMB at reasonable exchange rates.
HK taxi's should accept RMB, and there can be a published rate chart, just the same as
when there is a fare increase, but the taxi meter is still adjusted to the previous rates.
Harold Cameron
Surely this problem could have been avoided if the passengers had expressed their wish to pay in RMB before the taxi left CLK.
XYZ
I was in Shanghai recently and the taxi driver refused to accept Swiss francs as payment. This would not have been a problem in El Paso, Texas, where restaurants routinely accept Mexican pesos. I think Shanghai taxis should accept Swiss francs and Mexican pesos; all they need is a published currency exchange rate chart, updated daily.
Shadow
V good vv good
XYZ
Of course, the fleeing taxi driver was in the wrong, but I can understand his anger at being asked to accept RMB as payment and then getting into an argument over the exchange rate when he proposed a one-to-one rate. The customers didn't have enough money in the correct currency and should have accepted his terms as they were the cause of the dispute in the first place. I suspect that they knew all along that they didn't have enough HK dollars (and perhaps the taxi driver either learned or sensed that), explaining their lack of humility to accept his reasonable terms for the trouble they were causing him. It's another niggling anecdote added to the pile of indignities we're being asked to swallow in the service of our mainland cousins.
pkamshinglai
But that doesn't excuse the action of the taxi driver.
XYZ
Sorry, I guess your monitor did not display the opening remark, which read, "Of course, the fleeing taxi driver was in the wrong...".

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