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February 11, 2014

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Man in the dock for swindling cabbies

A MAN was arrested on a charge of cheating taxi drivers on the pretext of borrowing cash.

The suspect, surnamed Liu, cheated 15 cab drivers in seven months by borrowing money from them to buy the ecstasy drug.

Liu, who has served jail time in 1996, 2009, 2010 and 2012, told the Hongkou District People’s procurator that he would hail a taxi and name a far-off destination that was attractive business for taxi drivers.

Last February, he got a taxi from Hongkou District and told the driver he wanted to go to suburban Jiading District. Liu told the cabbie to stop at Xietu Road, claiming he had to pick up a bank card.

After getting back into the taxi, Liu borrowed the driver’s  cellphone and made a fake call saying he was short of cash.

He then tried to borrow 1,200 yuan (US$198) from the driver, telling him that he had to buy methylenedioxymethamphetamine, known by its street name ecstasy.

He promised to pay him back in Jiading. However the driver refused the request.

At Wuning Road, Liu again got off the taxi and came back with two plastic bottles that he said contained expensive ecstasy tablets.

He told the driver to keep the bottles in exchange for money. The driver, unwilling to lose a long-distance business, lent him 1,075 yuan. Liu vanished with the cash.

Realizing he was duped, the driver called police. They tried to call back the number Liu had “spoken to” on the driver’s mobile phone only to discover the number did not exist.

Police said Liu swindled 15 taxi drivers using the same ploy from January to August last year.



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