Asian drivers driving fake taxis in San Francisco have been arrested after a city council member said they were trying to smuggle in fake taxi stickers.
The Associated Press first reported Tuesday that San Francisco police and state prosecutors said they had detained drivers and other passengers on charges of transporting counterfeit taxi stickers and attempting to transport stolen vehicles.
The Associated the company has long said it has stopped working with fake taxi companies.
But the AP has not been able to confirm the authenticity of the photos.
“They were trying, not to smuggles or any illegal activity, but to sell the stickers,” Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan said Tuesday.
Kaplan said the city councilman is part of a coalition that has introduced legislation to make it a misdemeanor to transport or advertise stolen or forged taxi stickers or to advertise fake taxi permits.
The move comes after San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed legislation Tuesday aimed at cracking down on the fake taxi business.
San Francisco police spokesman Officer Kevin White said the undercover officers posing as taxi drivers were in San Jose for several days in July, but did not know the location of the cab companies.
White said the officers “had a lot of difficulty in getting drivers to comply with their request” because they had not had a license.
White did not specify what sort of business the undercover drivers had or where they were from.
The city did not immediately return a call for comment.
The San Francisco bill would create a special commission to investigate complaints about fraudulent taxi permits and to issue citations to drivers who are found to be selling fake permits.
The commission would be comprised of six members and be funded through a local tax credit, White said.
The city council is expected to vote on the bill later this month.