Click to join an upcoming live event

Turn off Ads (click)

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu
Travel News

18 arrested in NYC airport taxi scam

Written by editor

Just in time for the holidays, the authorities said they had arrested 18 people in a crackdown designed to round up unlicensed drivers who scam unsuspecting tourists arriving in New York at the two Qu

Just in time for the holidays, the authorities said they had arrested 18 people in a crackdown designed to round up unlicensed drivers who scam unsuspecting tourists arriving in New York at the two Queens airports.

Four borough residents were among the arrested individuals in the joint investigation conducted by the Queens district attorney’s office, Port Authority and city Taxi & Limousine Commission, Queens DA Richard Brown said.

The defendants allegedly offered tourists illegal rides from LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports to other parts of the city and overcharged them, according to Brown.

“Each year more than 70 million passengers travel through JFK and LaGuardia airports — many of whom are visitors from other states and countries and are unaware of ground transportation options when they arrive at the terminal,” he said in a statement.

“Often these passengers are unfamiliar with New York prices and/or U.S. currency and, as a result, are charged exorbitant rates to be driven even the shortest of distances,” he said.

The defendants were arrested Monday night and arraigned on various charges for their illegal actions. The suspects allegedly charged anywhere from $25 to $80 for their illegal chauffeur services despite warnings from airport officials, according to Brown.

The arrests came one month after the governor signed a new law that mandates that anyone found guilty of illegally picking up tourists would be punished with 90 days in prison.

“With the new law in place, our enforcement has increased and taxi hustlers should be forewarned: This is the end of the road,” PA Chairman Anthony Coscia said.

Four Queens men were part of the scheme and allegedly picked up JFK passengers illegally, Brown said.

Eduin G. Castro, 45, of 25th Avenue in College Point; Albin A. Duran, 28, of Stephen Street in Ridgewood; Earl C. Govan of Horace Harding Boulevard in Corona; and Debray R. Nunez, 38, of Hoover Avenue in Jamaica were arraigned on several charges, including unlawful solicitation of ground transportation.

The arrests came months after five French tourists were taken for a ride by similar suspected unlicensed drivers who picked them up at JFK. The driver and his alleged accomplice were chased by the authorities for seven miles into Brooklyn with the tourists in the back seat before they were caught.