Penang JPJ nabs 11 illegal e-hailing drivers, seizes vehicles

Penang JPJ nabs 11 illegal e-hailing drivers, seizes vehicles

BUTTERWORTH,. The Penang Road Transport Department (RTD) arrested 11 illegal e-hailing drivers and seized their vehicles, in a two-day special operation conducted yesterday and today.

Penang RTD director Adenan Md Isa said the matter came to light following complaints from a registered e-hailing drivers association and checks with the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) showed that the drivers used the mobile application of a company that had never registered with APAD.

“Following the information received, RTD has been conducting special intelligence and operations since yesterday focusing on several locations around Penang before detaining the 11 vehicles operating under the international e-hailing company,” he said.

“Investigations revealed that the company offered e-hailing services in over 30 countries, but is believed to be operating in Malaysia especially in Penang since early this year, but to date the company is not registered with APAD and has not applied for a Business Mediation Licence to operate.

“We are currently tracing the company for further investigation,” he told a press conference here, today.

RTD found that over 200 drivers were working for the company as e-hailing drivers in Penang, they registered with the company simply by submitting an application via Facebook along with their driver’s license, photo, vehicle’s grant and road tax.

Adenan said the company involved allowed drivers drivers to register and pick up passengers even without the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence which is against the APAD Act 2010.

In addition, he added, the company was having promotions to attract e-hailing drivers without charging any fees to use the company applications and even allows the drivers to receive full payment from the passengers without any deductions.

“Passengers are also allowed to bargain over the fare stated in the mobile apps and that it was cheaper than the price charged by other e-hailing operators.

“Some among the 11 drivers, aged between 20 and 50, were found to be registered with other legitimate e-hailing companies because it is easier to get passengers and they also received full payment (from passengers),” he said.

He said all e-hailing drivers and passengers had been warned to refrain from using the illegal application because, in the event of accidents, they will not be covered by insurance.

All the 11 drivers were being investigated under Section 16(1) of the APAD Act 2010. If convicted, the drivers can be fined between RM1,000 and RM10,000, or receive a maximum one-year imprisonment, or both, upon conviction. — Bernama

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