Three taxi drivers from Aylesbury have been prosecuted for offering taxi rides to customers while they were not properly insured or licensed.
Last week Aylesbury Vale District Council successfully prosecuted Fayaz Ali Ghumro, Raja Sajid Kiani and Amir Yasin for illegally plying for hire, also known as blagging.
The individuals were operating private hire vehicles licensed by the council but were stung by council officers in November 2018 who posed as members of the public as part of an enforcement operation.
Ghumro, Kiani and Yasin were caught offering journeys from one destination to another within Aylesbury which were not pre-booked via their operator.
This invalidated the insurance for the vehicle as the policy in place only covers the vehicle for journeys that were pre-booked.
Ghumro of Camborne Avenue was fined £146 for plying for hire, £440 for no insurance, given six points on his DVLA licence and also hit with a bill for £200 in costs and a charge of £44.
Kiani of Meadowcroft was fined £140 for plying for hire, £420 for no insurance, given six points on his DVLA licence which resulted in the loss of his licence due to exceeding 12 points on his licence and also hit with a bill for £200 in costs and a charge of £42.
Yasin of St Edmunds Close pleaded guilty to plying for hire and driving without motor insurance and will be sentenced at a later date.
The district council will now consider whether the trio retain their private hire and Hackney Carriage driver licences.
Cllr Sue Renshell, chair of Aylesbury Vale District Council’s licensing committee said: “Unlawfully plying for hire is a serious offence.
"Apart from taking legitimate work from licensed hackney carriages whose livelihood depends on picking up passengers, it impacts significantly on public safety.
"The effect of unlawfully plying for hire is that it invalidates the drivers insurance and may leave customers and third party drivers without financial redress in the event of an accident.
"These drivers must take responsibility for the safety of the passengers they carry in licensed vehicles.
“Licensed drivers are in a position of trust and the public expect that they have the appropriate licences in place with adequate insurance.
“We hope this will send a clear message to the licensed trade to show the consequences that await any licenced driver who fails to comply with the law.
"We urge members of the public to make sure that all journeys taken in a private hire vehicle are pre-booked via the operator to ensure their own safety.”
All Aylesbury licensed private hire vehicles carry the words 'be booked be insured.’