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Bogus cab driver jailed


Press release issued by the Metropolitan Police Service

A bogus cab driver, who was driving whilst disqualified, has been jailed for 20 weeks thanks to Metropolitan Police Service’s Cab Enforcement Unit (CEU), part of the Transport for London (TfL) funded Safer Transport Command Unit (STC).

Kumar Gunadheera, 56, who uses numerous aliases, was sentenced at East London Magistrates’ Court on Monday 12 March after pleading guilty to soliciting persons for hire car services, resisting/obstructing a constable, driving with no insurance, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving whilst disqualified. He was also disqualified from driving for a further three years.

Officers from the CEU were on patrol in Shoreditch when they came across a car being driven by Gunadheera with passengers in the rear. Officers suspected the driver was touting and stopped the car. Gunadheera, who gave a false name, stated he had offered the passengers a lift home free of charge, however, the passengers confirmed that Gunadheera approached them in Shaftesbury Avenue and agreed a price of £20 to take them to east London. Gunadheera was arrested and taken into custody where his true identity was confirmed.

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, Safer Transport Command, said: “Gunadheera’s actions not only put the passengers in danger but other Londoner’s by touting and driving whilst disqualified. This case demonstrates the good work being done by the joint STC/ TfL Cab Enforcement Unit, who are a dedicated unit that carries out anti-tout initiatives to tackle touts and improve the safety of passengers who use taxis and private hire vehicles.”

Steve Burton, Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at TfL, said: “TfL take touting extremely seriously and the conviction of Mr. Gunadheera as another example of this. We continuously work with our policing partners and the Mayor of London to reduce the number of illegal minicabs operating in the capital. Anyone who thinks about picking up a minicab off street is urged to not take the risk. Only black cabs can be stopped and picked up off the street and minicabs, even those licensed by TfL, must always be booked through a licensed minicab operator.”

Key tips on using minicabs:

  • Never approach a minicab on the street or accept a fare, they are acting illegally
  • Always book so there is a record of your journey
  • Only black cabs can pick passengers up on the street
  • Book it, check it and always sit in the back
  • To get three local cab numbers text “CAB” to 60835 – Users of 3 and overseas networks must enter different information. See for details and charges.




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