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Taxi driver suspended for 30 days for cheating foreign passenger

A Seoul court has sentenced a taxi driver to a 30-day suspension for attempting to deceive a foreign passenger into paying extra charges, court officials said Wednesday.

The taxi driver, whose identity was withheld, was booked in March last year on charges of asking his passenger, a visitor from overseas, to pay an extra charge of 20-percent after he intentionally pushed an out-of-city trip button on the fare meter, though the trip occurred within Seoul.


The driver launched a lawsuit after Seoul's Songpa Ward Office decided to suspend his license for a month over the overcharging incident, arguing that he had mistakenly handled the fare meter and the extra charge amounted to a small sum.

The Seoul Administrative Court has ruled against the taxi driver, saying he obviously attempted to rip off the customer. As for the driver's claim to have made a minor mistake, the court said he failed to present any documentation to prove his innocence.

"The plaintiff has a record of having received several administrative penalties for overcharging over the past four years.

His behavior should be regarded as a grave or intentional misdeed, rather than a minor mistake," said the court.

Overcharging passengers, particular foreign tourists, by taxi drivers in Seoul and other metropolitan cities has long been a controversial social issue in South Korea. (Yonhap)