Authorities detect three cases of unlicensed passenger transportation

Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Chan Hoi Fan, talks to the press in the same occasion.

The authorities have so far detected three cases of unlicensed passenger transportation services requested via a mobile app-based private car hailing service, said the Secretary for Security, Mr Wong Sio Chak. Any unlicensed passenger transportation service is deemed illegal by the authorities, he said. Charges will be filed against those suspected of illegally providing such services and fines applied to those found guilty of such offences. Mr Wong made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a public event on 29 October. He said Uber, a mobile app-based car hailing service provider, is not licensed in Macao, which means that its operations are illegal. The Secretary said the Government would take into consideration the Uber operating model when reviewing the rules on the operation of taxis. He hinted that the revision aimed at tackling difficulties in investigating and prosecuting similar car-hailing services in Macao. The Transport Bureau, the Public Security Police Force and the Macau Government Tourist Office will work together when investigating any suspected case of unlicensed transportation of passengers, said Mr Wong. They will also work together on the revision of related legislation, he added. Mr Wong said the Government would pay close attention to public opinion when considering the legal status of Uber. But he recalled that more than half of the world’s countries do not allow this type of services. In view of the current situation, the Government is likely to bar Uber’s operation in Macao, the Secretary said. Reasons include poor transparency in its operations and the lack of a clear charging policy, he added. Mr Wong stressed the Government would strengthen supervision of regulated taxi services so that the industry is able to meet residents’ demands for better services. The police will spare no efforts in cracking down illegal passenger transportation activities, including within the taxi industry, he added. Evidence of those efforts is seen in the crime statistics, which show an increase in the number of cases detected by the authorities in the first three months of this year compared to a year earlier, Mr Wong said. In the same occasion, the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Chan Hoi Fan, said all vehicles providing passenger transportation services have to be licensed by the authorities according to existing laws. The Government is closely monitoring the development of the situation, she added.

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