Illegal taxis under pressure

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N i c o_ on Flickr

UNAUTHORISED taxis, an increasingly common problem on the Costa, are going to have their work cut out staying under the radar as Marbella has launched a campaign to stop their activities.
So-called ‘pirate’ taxi drivers, who target unsuspecting tourists in particular over the busy summer months, are in the sights of the city’s latest plans to increase surveillance and apply regulations strictly whenever illegal activity is detected.
A new Local Police force team, including four uniformed and two plain clothes officers on the streets ready to fine vehicles caught transporting passengers for a fee without the correct permission, has been in place since July 1 and the council is studying ways to enforce Andalucian regulations which allow the vehicles to be immobilized until fines (which can reach up to €2,760) are paid.
While between July 15 and August 31 last year a similar team inspected 250 vehicles and issued 20 fines for illegal taxi services, this year the odds have increased and within the first week of the campaign seven cars had been fined.
Along with the police surveillance campaign, the city’s council has launched a project to inform tourists of the situation, with leaflets in a number of languages being distributed in tourist areas and establishments in a hope to save them from becoming prey to the pirates.

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