Twin Plate and Forged Taximeter Scam

Lukas Vinkler, a citizen of the Czech Republic, working for a multi-national company, arrived in Istanbul on October 4th, 2016 to attend the company's meeting in Turkey. The taxi fare between Ataturk Airport and Tarabya which Vinkler used many times before had to be about 80 TRY but the taximeter displayed 345 TRY. Vinkler objected to it but could not agree with the pirate taxi driver because he didn't speak English. Vinkler paid 350 TRY in cash, received 5 TRY back in change with a receipt then got off the car. He didn't get a reply to the complaint e-mail he had sent to Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Twin Plate and Forged Taximeter Scam

On the 4th of October, Vinkler could not find a taxi in Atatürk Airport where his plane landed. Then he stepped out of the airport and took a taxi by crossing the road. During the journey, the driver made a phone call and took a third person who would become a co-conspirator. As both the driver and the third person do not speak English, Vinkler could not answer his question why someone else was put in the car.

When they arrived in Tarabya, taxi driver said that they had missed the hotel entrance and stopped the car close to the hotel but not at the point he wanted. Taximeter should displayed approximately 80 TRY but 345 TRY shown. He objected to the fee but could not agree with the driver because of the language barrier. Recognizing that they could not communicate, Vinkler was annoyed and gave 350 TRY and wanted a receipt. At this point, pirate taxi driver tried to cheat for a second time by saying that the fifty lira banknote he gave was five but could not succeed.

Similarity between the Fifty and Five lira banknotes
Similarity between the Fifty and Five lira banknotes

After receiving the receipt and five lira back in change Vinkler got of the vehicle, saying it would complain. After the incident, the complaint e-mail he wrote to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has remained unanswered. The colleagues of Vinkler traced and managed to find the driver who wrote the name on the receipt, in their own way, but driver's response was "Looks like someone printed a fake receipt in my name."

Thousands of Pirate Taxis on Istanbul Roads

The head of the Chamber of Tradesmen made a statement about the fraud case, stated that they were investigating the pirate taxi driver, and that a legal taxi could not do such a thing, and that a legal taximeter could not intervene technically from the electronic circuitry. According to Yahya Uğur's description, the existing measuring instrument law makes an additional license for electronic taximeter mandatory and the vast majority of these pirate taxis using a fraudulent taximeter are twin platters.

Despite the fact that they have already captured 150 twin platters to date, the chief of the chamber, who says there are still traveling between 2000 and 3000 on the roads of Istanbul. Confronted with some sanctions by the chamber for the twin platters, which victimizes both the citizens and legal taxi license holders, it must be investigated separately by the Police, he said.

What is a Twin-Plated Taxi?

The scammers get a twin-plate pirate taxi by duplicating license plate of a legal taxi. In some cases, even the car number is being copied. It is also hard to get caught on traffic controls because the license number of taxi is legal according to the records. If the twin-plated taxi runs out of the bridge, don't stops in the red lights or violates the speed limit the penalty goes to the real plate owner. Even in case of a traffic accident and driver runs away, real plate owner is dealing in courts. It is usually learned in such situations that the plate was duplicated and the taxi was pirate.

Source: Haberturk / Nagihan Alan

pirate taxi, twin-platter, scam, news, ataturk airport, tarabya, istanbul,

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