Taxi driver suspended for 30 days for cheating foreign passenger

SEOUL, A Seoul court has sentenced a taxi driver to a 30day suspension for attempting to deceive a foreign passenger into paying extra charges, court officials said Wednesday.

The taxi driver, whose identity was withheld, was booked in March last year on charges of asking his passenger, a visitor from overseas, to pay an extra charge of 20percent after he intentionally pushed an outofcity trip button on the fare meter, though the trip occurred within Seoul.

The driver launched a lawsuit after Seoul's Songpa Ward Office decided to suspend his license for a month over the overcharging incident, arguing that he had mistakenly handled the fare meter and the extra charge amounted to a small sum.

The Seoul Administrative Court has ruled against the taxi driver, saying he obviously attempted to rip off the customer. As for the driver's claim to have made a minor mistake, the court said he failed to present any documentation to prove his innocence.

The plaintiff has a record of having received several administrative penalties for overcharging over the past four years. His behavior should be regarded as a grave or intentional misdeed, rather than a minor mistake, said the court.

Overcharging passengers, particular foreign tourists, by taxi drivers in Seoul and other metropolitan cities has long been a controversial social issue in South Korea.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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