Undercover cops fine taxi drivers for disobeying rules

In a bid to curb taxi scams done against foreign tourists, police officers have been continuously running inspections to bust taxi scams and fine drivers who fail to obey the rules.

Disguised as Arab tourists, police officers fined taxi drivers in Istanbul's Eminönü district on Sept. 16 for not obeying rules.

Drivers who did not open the taximeter were fined 652 Turkish Liras ($75.90), while those speaking on mobiles while driving were fined 314 liras ($36.55).

The fine for smoking while driving or refusing to give rides to short-distance travelers was 144 Liras ($16,76).

A taxi driver accused the police units of setting a trap against him.

"I do not give my blessings to you; this is a trap you made," said Erdal Özlem, a taxi driver who was fined for not opening a taximeter.

"They spoke Arabic. I neither asked for U.S. dollars nor asked for a fancy price. My only mistake was not opening the taximeter," he said, finding the fine "a little harsh."

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