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Fake taxi driver facing prison

AUTHORITIES have made the first arrest in Shanghai of a man suspected of forging cab licenses and operating a fake Dazhong cab, officials from the taxi watchdog said yesterday.

The suspect, who the taxi watchdog would only identify by the surname Gu, faces up to three years in jail if convicted of forging government issued documents, the taxi watchdog said.

Gu was detained on June 15 after he is alleged to have provided a fake receipt to a passenger he drove to Pudong International Airport. The passenger called the city's taxi watchdog.

Wu Runyuan, an official with the taxi watchdog, said: "We will team up with the police and those using fake business documents and car plates will be sued in future cases. This is just the beginning."

Usually, the owner of an unlicensed taxi is fined a maximum of 50,000 yuan (US$7,317) but the penalty is not considered effective as many violators simply leave their confiscated vehicle with the taxi watchdog instead of paying the fine, which is often more than the car is worth.

Police said Gu bought a second-hand Dazhong cab and installed a fare meter, a GPS system and defense shield as the original equipment had been removed by the firm before the cab was sold.

Wu said Gu also purchased a fake Dazhong taxi uniform and paid for a package of fake business licenses.

Police said the offenses Gu could be charged with could lead to three years in prison.


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