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Campaign disqualifies cheating drivers

    Two taxi drivers who were repeatedly complained about for overcharging and cherry picking have been caught in the first round of this year’s “Removing the Thorns” campaign by Shanghai Transport Commission’s law enforcement department.

    Law enforcement officers went to Hyatt on the Bund last Thursday after tracking down a taxi that had been complained about four times in the past two years. In June last year a passenger said he had been overcharged when the taxi, with plate number DX4498, took him from Hyatt to Pudong International Airport.

    On Thursday the same taxi took another passenger to the airport. When officers checked its taxi meter, they found it showed the distance driven as 65.5 kilometers for which it charged 237 yuan (US$37). But the actual distance was only 46 kilometers and it should have charged 70 yuan less.

    Another taxi at the airport, plate numbered BX6568, was also found to be overcharging. There were eight complaints about the taxi over the past two years, all for overcharging.

    Cheating devices were found on both taxis, which added extra distance and charge to the taxi fare, officers said.

    Both drivers had their taxi certifications seized and are facing further investigation. The commission has banned them from the taxi business for the next five years and their offenses recorded on their personal credit history.

    “Having unlawful behavior on your personal record will lead to restrictions when applying for a credit card or financial benefit,” said a commission official. Passengers are urged to dial 12345 to report instances of cherry picking or overcharging.