Matthias Vanheerentals


Three hundred taxi drivers were present at the taxi protest.Photo: Matthias Vanheerentals

Several taxi companies and drivers came to Brussels from all over Europe on Thursday morning. The taxi drivers, from France, Spain and Brussels, among others, are protesting there against the activities of Uber. A procession of three hundred taxis passed through the Belgian capital.

The activists ask politicians to do more with the findings from the ‘Uber Files’. That’s a series of revelations that show how Uber has been able to bend national laws to its will when implementing the platform.

“With the demonstration, we demand that light be shed on the UberFiles scandal,” Abdel Sabbani, president of the BTF (Fédération des Taxis Bruxellois) told the Brussels news website Bruzz. Numerous taxi drivers from various European countries took part in the protest. With this action, the drivers defended their livelihood. They think Uber is a vicious competitor that is stealing their work. The problems are the same in all European countries, according to the taxi drivers.

GLT GLT, the Belgian national taxi group, was itself not involved in organizing the protest. “GTL is not a big supporter of demonstrations or other protests, but in this case collegiality is certainly appropriate,” says Pierre Steenberghen of GTL. “The group itself does not participate, but some members in Flanders and Wallonia have announced that they would go to the demonstration with a limited number of vehicles. Most companies currently have overcrowded schedules and especially understaffing due to vacancies that are not filled.” The protest started this morning at 08. o’clock and ends this afternoon.

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The Dutch passenger and taxi driver of ‘Cocaine taxi’ are given prison sentences. In March, the taxi vehicle was caught by the police in Gentbrugge with 08 kilograms of cocaine and heroin . Although the drugs were only taken by the passenger, the taxi driver is also not free because he was aware of the drug trafficking, the judge ruled.

The police intercepted on 20 March the Dutch taxi that was on its way from Rotterdam to Mouscron because the car was driving too fast, so reports Het Nieuwsblad. The police discovered that the Dutch passenger 08 was in possession of kilograms of cocaine and heroin. The ANPR cameras and telephone investigation later show that the passenger has smuggled drugs at least 28 times. This always happened with the same taxi driver. According to the passenger, he worked for a Dutch gang.

Young guest According to the lawyer of the passenger – who requested a suspended prison sentence – is a young guy who wanted to earn some extra money and not a big drug criminal. The Dutchman eventually received three years in prison, of which two years with postponement and 8. euro fine. 20. euros was forfeited. The judge took into account the young age and a clean criminal record.

Taxi driver denies Although the Dutch taxi driver denied all involvement and asked for the acquittal, he will not go unpunished. The court ruled that the man had to take responsibility for that one ride. Dashcam footage showed that the driver and passenger were openly discussing drug trafficking. The judge ruled that the taxi driver should have stopped the ride. The taxi driver was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence. His Mercedes got the man back.

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