Saturday, October 1

25 pirate taxis seized as cops launch crackdown

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KOTA KINABALU: Police will be cracking down on illegal taxi operators, also known as ‘kereta sapu’, after 25 private vehicles were confiscated around the city centre early this month.

Seen as a nuisance in the eyes of the public, these illegal taxi drivers would park their vehicles, ranging from cars, vans to MPVs, on designated public car parks without paying any parking fees.

Their activities are believed to have caused the lack of parking space around the city centre, especially in front of the central market and Segama area along Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens Road.

City police chief ACP M.Chandra said following numerous complaints from the public, a crackdown dubbed Ops Kereta Sapu was launched to curb this illegal activity.

“About a week of continuous surveillance was carried out to identify which private vehicles were involved in this illegal activity.

“After identifying 25 vehicles, police immediately launched an operation to confiscate the vehicles and detained the owners on March 26,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Chandra said the illegal taxi operators were not licensed and did not have any permit to operate as public transport.

Police surveillance and observation also revealed that the illegal taxi drivers would start their operation as early as 7am right up to 9pm.

“As these vehicles have no meter, the fare is much cheaper and adult passengers will be charged RM4 each and children RM2 each.

“Police investigation also revealed that most of their passengers are residents from Telipok,” he said.

Among the vehicles that were confiscated were 12 vans, seven MPVs and six cars all worth about RM2.2 million.

Following the operation, 25 men, aged between 24 and 69, have been detained amid police investigation under Section 51 and Section 33 of the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987.