Cab drivers suspended for pirating

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Two cab drivers have been suspended from trading as private hires after they were caught picking up fares illegally in Glasgow.

Hussein Kawere and Mohammad Riaz were brought before the licensing committee on Thursday morning after they were spotted picking up passengers, who had not pre-booked a lift, from the street.

In March a black hackney cab driver complained that Mr Kawere had pirated his fare.

At 4.30am the taxi driver was negotiating a price to Hamilton with a passenger when Mr Kawere beeped his horn and beckoned the woman over to his vehicle. She and her friend hopped inside the vehicle and it drove off.

At Thursday’s meeting Mr Kawere denied plying for trade and said he had been working the entire time despite not logging any journeys with passengers for at least three hours.

Following the discussion the committee agreed to suspend his licence for fours weeks.

In February this year Mr Riaz was caught pirating at 3am on Union Street when he picked up a passenger who hadn’t pre-booked.

A price of £30 was agreed between the driver and the customer to take him to Cambuslang.

Defending himself Mr Riaz said: “I told him I could only take pre booked hires and told him to phone my company so I could take him.

“I allowed him to make the phone call in the car before driving off with him. I did not want to leave him stranded.”

Councillors agreed to suspend Mr Riaz’s licence for six weeks. He will not be allowed to operate as a private hire car driver for that time.