POLICE in Malaga are searching out illegal taxi drivers operating in the city.
So far they have unearthed 118 vehicles, made up of 53 “pirate” cabs and 65 rental cars using a driver, none of whom had a licence to carry passengers. Local Police officers foiled 44 of the “pirate” taxi drivers as they entered Malaga Airport, eight were found near the city’s bus station and one was located in the Alameda de Capuchinos.
Officers at Malaga Airport have carried out 120 vehicle check stops this year, checking a total of 2,035 vehicles and finding 173 which did not carry the correct licence.
The news comes after protest over private hire vehicles turned ugly in August, leading to 10 arrests.
Following a taxi strike in Malaga, a number of people were arrested by the National Police on suspicion of coercion, property damage and assault.
The five-day strike over the proliferation of private hire vehicles cause travel chaos in the city at one of the busiest times of the year. Taxi drivers refused to work at Malaga Airport, instead sitting in the vehicles to protest the success of private taxi firm Cabify. Holidaymakers were forced to seek alternatives means of transport to their hotels and rental homes, leaving some stranded late at night when their flights arrived after buses stopped running.
The strike came to an end after the Junta de Andalucia agreed a series of temporary proposals to control numbers. Union leaders explained they want the ratio of private hire cabs to taxis to reach 1:30, a figure the Junta described as “impossible.”
The strike proved a source of tension throughout Malaga, leading to ten arrests. Five of those detained were held over their alleged role in attacking Eduardo Martin, president of the VTC (private hire licence) association, who claimed he was attacked by taxi drivers at Malaga Airport where he was giving a television interview about the strike. According to media reports, one of the five is considered to be the main instigator of the attack, while the other four are suspected to have joined in.
According to media reports, among those arrested, several supposedly already hold criminal records.