Cabbie nabbed for blackmailing & abducting passenger: police

2018-05-16 08:00     Comment:1

A rogue taxi driver, who refused to let a female passenger get out of his cab as he “wasn’t paid the fare he expected”, was arrested by the police yesterday.

The announcement was made during a joint special press conference yesterday by the Public Security Police (PSP) and Judiciary Police (PJ) at the PJ headquarters in Zape.

PJ spokesman Lai Man Vai identified the suspect as a 26-year-old local man surnamed Ng, who has been a taxi driver for two years. He said that the victim is a 28-year-old female tourist from Taiwan.

Lai said that at 9 p.m. on Monday, the victim got into Ng’s taxi at the Lotus Flower Bridge checkpoint, heading towards a resort hotel in Cotai. After arriving, the taximeter displayed the fare as being19 patacas, so the victim handed Ng 20 patacas. However, Ng refused it and told the victim that he had waited at the taxi rank for a long time before picking her up, and asked for 100 patacas instead.

The two started to argue, Lai said. The victim tried to get out of the taxi but she couldn’t open the door. She shouted in Mandarin for help from a hotel staff member near the taxi, but to no avail. According to Lai, the employee doesn’t speak Mandarin so couldn’t understand the victim.

Ng then drove the cab for about 50 metres away from the resort. The victim then gave him 50 patacas and was eventually allowed to get out of the cab by the suspect.

The victim reported the case to the Public Security Police (PSP) later, and early yesterday morning PSP officers stopped the taxi Ng was driving at the Lotus Flower Bridge checkpoint.

The Public Security Police (PSP) transferred the suspect to the Judiciary Police (PJ) to investigate further, a PSP spokesperson said.
Under questioning, Ng admitted that he didn’t let the victim get out as “he wasn’t paid the fare he expected”, according to Lai. The suspect told the police that he was aware that passengers couldn’t unlock the door from the back seat of the taxi.

Lai said that the taxi had been modified so that the backseat windows and doors couldn’t be lowered and opened respectively by the passenger, adding that the police would investigate whether it was an illegal modification.

The PSP spokesperson noted that Ng had accumulated 85 violations including overcharging and refusing hire since August 2016. She didn’t elaborate on whether Ng’s transgression on Monday was included in the 85 violations.

Ng was transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) for further investigation. He faces charges on abduction and extortion, according to articles 152 and 215 of the Macau Penal Code, facing up to 12 and 8 years behind bars respectively.

Meanwhile, the PSP spokesperson said that the Public Security Police recorded 539 taxi violations last month, with 328 of them concerning overcharging, 108 refusing hire, and 103 other kinds of violation.

Last month, the Legislative Assembly (AL) passed the outline of a government-initiated bill regulating the city’s taxi sector.

The bill proposes that a cabbie will have his or her taxi-driving licence cancelled for committing serious administrative violations such as refusing to pick up passengers and overcharging them four times within five years, apart from facing a raft of hefty fines.

According to the bill, a cabbie whose taxi-driving licence has been cancelled will only be allowed to take an examination three years afterwards to regain it.

Taxi vehicle licence owners and taxi drivers face a fine of between 300 patacas and 25,000 patacas for violating different rules listed in the existing taxi regulation.

According to the existing regulation, a taxi driver faces a fine of 1,000 patacas for committing violations such as refusing to pick up passengers, overcharging, smoking in the vehicle while transporting passengers, and jumping the queue to pick up passengers at taxi ranks.

Judiciary Police (PJ) officers escort the suspected rogue cabbie wearing a face mask to a police vehicle outside the PJ headquarters in Zape yesterday. Photo: Iong Tat Choi


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