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Transportation Crime Government

Dutch Prosecutors Launch Criminal Investigation Against Uber For Flouting Ban 48

An anonymous reader writes Dutch prosecutors have announced that they are prosecuting taxi-hailing giant Uber for continuing to disregard last December's ban on the company offering its unlicensed UberPOP service in the Netherlands. The statement declares 'The company Uber is now a suspect...This means a preliminary examination will be started to collect evidence that Uber is providing illegal transportation on a commercial basis,'. Dutch police presented evidence to the prosecutors of UberPOP drivers in Amsterdam ignoring the ban, and at the time of writing the UberPOP service is still available via Uber's Amsterdam website [https://www.uber.com/cities/amsterdam]. Though Uber inspires new litigation on a weekly basis in the territories in which it is seeking to consolidate its services, this is the first time it has been the subject of a criminal prosecution.
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Dutch Prosecutors Launch Criminal Investigation Against Uber For Flouting Ban

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  • by linearZ ( 710002 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @02:31PM (#49500983)

    I can't wait for the day they are all replaced by robots.

    • The Uber drivers I have used have all been great. Complaints I've seen have all been about Uber the company, not the drivers... the drivers are just normal people trying to earn a living by making use of what they have.

      Most taxi drivers I have encountered on the other hand, have ranged from standoffish to incredibly rude and sometimes hostile, frequently lying about fares to get more money. Taxi drivers can be that way in most places because they have no competition, no reason to provide anything like good

      • by linearZ ( 710002 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @02:53PM (#49501057)

        As a passenger, you may find them great. But then again, you probably don't have to deal with Uber SUV's right hooking you on a bike, or Lincoln town cars parked in the middle of the road, creating gridlock for blocks behind them. In my town, Uber drivers have become just as much as an entitled dipshits as Taxi drivers, maybe more so.

        I will welcome our robot Uberlords.

        • by mi ( 197448 )

          you probably don't have to deal with Uber SUV's right hooking you on a bike, or Lincoln town cars parked in the middle of the road

          Do you have any evidence to suggest, Uber-associated SUVs and town-cars are especially bad in this regard, or are you just venting?

          In my personal experience and opinion SUVs are anti-social in general — too big, can not see through them from behind — whoever drives them. But we aren't talking about personal anecdotes here, are we?

          • In my personal experience and opinion SUVs are anti-social in general

            Im my personal experience, SUV's only exist because of CAFE - back when it was put in place, a station wagon couldn't be built that met the mileage requirements, so they started doing SUV's (which got to use the truck mileage requirements) for people who needed more space than a sedan (having grown up in a family with three kids and two dogs, I fully appreciate that your average sedan isn't suitable for some families)...

            Note that now that

      • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @03:11PM (#49501095)

        Most taxi drivers I have encountered on the other hand, have ranged from standoffish to incredibly rude and sometimes hostile, frequently lying about fares to get more money.

        Let me ask you, in which countries have you taken taxis?

        I am American, but live in Germany. I have traveled on business to many different European countries. I have rode in taxis in England(Winchester,Southampton), the Netherlands (Delft), France (Nice, Paris), Belgium (Brussels), Greece (Samos), Switzerland (Zurich), Turkey(Istanbul), and just about every which where in Germany. I have never had a negative experience.

        I am always polite to the driver, never condescending, and friendly. Guess what? The taxi driver always pays back in kind.

        • by linearZ ( 710002 )

          It must be the US. As a lot, the Taxi drivers are nasty, no matter how respectful you are to them. I get it - getting paid close to minimum wage for driving around minimally maintained leased vehicle for hours in heavy traffic amongst poor/lost drivers, jay walking pedestrians, with sometimes difficult customers, and little accountability - that can likely turn the best of them into trolls. The Uber drivers attitude seems a bit better attitude towards their customers, and maybe that has to do with who o

        • True I would say places in the U.S. like NYC, SF, and Miami have especially bad cab drivers.

          But I did not have good experiences in Rome, Belgum (also Brussels), and in fact in Germany also (Berlin).

          I will agree the black cabs in London are very good, and actually I did have a great cab driver also in Turkey now that I think about it so I do feel a bit sorry for maligning them all in a blanket statement.

          But I still stand by the statement that on average the Uber drivers have been much nicer, the cars in much

        • by src1138 ( 212903 )

          Same here. I've never used Uber, but taxis in Europe are usually pretty good. I've only had one or two negative experiences over about 10 years here. Also, in Amsterdam virtually all the taxis are now Teslas, so that's pretty cool.

        • Taxis in the Netherlands are generally great (though expensive), with the notable exception of Amsterdam. There they refuse you service if the trip is not long enough to their liking. They are typically rude, and oftentimes armed. It's fun to go to the taxi-stand at Amsterdam central station and notice the permanent presence of at least two police cars there. They're not there to protect taxi drivers from the population, that's for sure.

          I've taken UberPop in Amsterdam and it's great. Unfortunately, the U

        • by radish ( 98371 )

          It certainly varies by location. In most of mainland Europe cabs are fine and comfortable but extremely expensive. I will say they can be a little pushy in the larger cities (Paris, AMS in particular in my experience). London cabbies are great as long as you can find one, mini cabs (which you're often forced into on a Friday night) are basically taking your life in your hands. I live in NYC and the difference with Uber is night and day from either the yellow cabs (uncomfortable, dirty, badly driven) or the

        • Ukrainian taxi drivers are generally awful and no amount of politeness can change that. Not only the cars are in a bad shape and generally lack seat belts on the rear seat, the drivers are rude and drive like crazy, apparently believing that cheaply printed icons on the dashboard would save them.

          My worst experience was when I wanted to go from Kiev city centre (independence square) to a hotel near the town border, close to the airport, at midnight. I had to wait for two hours for a taxi to arrive because th

      • by burne ( 686114 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @06:38PM (#49501893)

        The Uber drivers I have used have all been great.

        Under Dutch law taxi drivers need a number of additional courses and successful completion of the certifications associated with them. In addition they are required to be screened for previous convictions pertaining to alchohol- or drug abuse, traffic violations, and inter-personal violence convictions.

        There's no 'uber' in the Netherlands, just 'uberpop' which is an illegal taxi-driver with none of the training and none of the safe-guards 'normal' taxi drivers have to conform to. 'Uberpop' is promoting illegal taxi services.

        Taxi drivers in the Netherlands behave themselves because the first DUI means they will never drive a taxi ever again. They don't beat up customers because they will never again, ever, work as a chauffeur, not even on a freight lorry. Run a number of red lights in a few years and you'll lose your VOG [justis.nl] and with it your license to drive a taxi.

        We used to have an America-styled mob company in every city. For instance: the TCA, Taxi Criminals Amsterdam, required large fees from its drivers, to protect them from 'damage' and to assign them rides. Heavy-handed law-enforcement did a lot of good. Uberpop seems to be determined to re-establish the New York-style cabbie from the late seventies.

        • by hjf ( 703092 )

          You're probably talking to an american: Their laws and ways should apply EVERYWHERE. If they're not, people are dumb and inferior.

      • Good for you, as long as everything goes perfectly as expected you'll be fine.

        But then you're involved in an accident, get hurt, and suddenly you find out that the driver's insurance won't pay out because you're a paying passenger and he doesn't have insurance coverage for that. In case of official taxis, you won't have such an issue, guaranteed. There is a reason taxi licenses and so are in place in many parts of the world, and it's not to prevent competition. It's to protect customers, and if done correct

      • by udippel ( 562132 )

        If this is seriously what you want to know, here is the answer:
        They work without the appropriate licence, their cars are not checked for fitness, and their insurance doesn't cover it, when they run you against a wall. isn't that quite enough?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I can't wait for the day they are all replaced by robots.

      All humans will be replaced by robots soon enough.

    • They won't be. The regulators will protect their jobs, just like they are being protected from uber.
    • > I can't wait for the day they are all replaced by robots.

      I know, fucking politicians!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Being able to name a company as a suspect and file criminal charges against it would be amazing. Instead of just fining a company 0.001% of its annual net income, actually put some of these criminals into jail.

    Foreclosed somebody's house "by accident" even though it was already paid off? That's felony theft of $250,000, treat the company like you would treat any individual who did that, no little $5,000 fine, someone needs to go to jail.

    A corporate death penalty would be nice too for the big fuckups.

  • In most legal systems, you can't just directly ignore a court order without it becoming a criminal case. Even if it wasn't criminal before, violating a court order is itself an offense.

  • Uber is clearly racketeering. Are there special penalties there for it, as in the U.S.? There must be a solid extradition treaty between the two nations. If convicted, could the top Uber execs be facing years in Dutch prison?

    Personally, I hope so. The idea that it's legal to be a crook as long as you're using smart phones and unlicensed contract labor to do it is pernicious. The Dutch literally invented capitalism. Let's hope they show the world again what it can be at its best, with the proper controls and

  • It's absolutely fucking insane that a business based on calling someone for a ride makes those with political power shit themselves with attempts to shut it down. Absolutely insane.

    • It's absolutely fucking insane that a business based on calling someone for a ride makes those with political power shit themselves with attempts to shut it down. Absolutely insane.

      That is not the problem. The problem is that Uber is organizing crime, and continues to do so after beeing caught and fined once already.That is kind kind of a bad thing.

  • If you have a representative government change the laws. If your elected officials answer to special interest elect ones who don't. I know, lost cause, shut up and pay up.

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