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Hong Kong police arrest 21 Uber drivers in latest crackdown

2017-05-23 10:44

UNDER FIRE: This file photo taken on March 10, 2017 shows Uber signage at the Hong Kong office. Hong Kong police arrested 21 Uber drivers for carrying passengers without a proper permit. Image: AFP / Anthony Wallace

Hong Kong -  Hong Kong police launched a fresh crackdown Tuesday on Uber, arresting 21 drivers suspected of working for the ride-hailing giant in the Asian financial center.

It's the latest regulatory headache for Uber, which already is fighting a similar case in Hong Kong.

Undercover operation

The drivers were arrested in an undercover operation on suspicion of carrying passengers for hire and not having third-party insurance for their cars, said Chief Inspector Lau Tat-fai.

Lau said the 20 men and one woman aged 21 to 59 were taken into custody and their vehicles impounded.

"I would like to emphasize that police are still continuing their enforcement action and I can't rule out the possibility of more drivers being arrested," he told reporters.

Uber backs drivers

He called on people using smartphones to arrange rides to make sure that drivers have the proper vehicle hire permits.

Lau did not specifically mention Uber, but company representatives said they planned to issue a statement.

US Justice dept probes Uber's use of fake app to stymie city inspectors

In March, a Hong Kong court convicted and fined five Uber drivers on the same charges after they were arrested by undercover police. The company said it would stand by the five drivers as they launched an appeal.

In 2015, police searched Uber's Hong Kong offices and confiscated computers and documents.

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