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Two private hire drivers caught illegally ‘blagging’ in MK

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Two private hire drivers caught illegally ‘blagging’ in MK 18th January 2019

Two private hire drivers have been successfully prosecuted at MK Magistrates’ Court for illegally plying for hire (blagging).

Olusina Moses Akeem Aruna of Buckingham Gate, Eaglestone and Shahid Farooq of Nunnery Lane, Luton were caught illegally picking up passengers in Milton Keynes during an early morning enforcement operation carried out by Milton Keynes Council in July last year.

Olusina Moses Akeem Aruna accepted a journey which had not been pre-booked from MK Station to Bletchley on 5 July 2018 at 11:10am. Further investigations showed that the vehicle used by the driver was not insured for this journey. Mr Aruna attended Court on 11 January 2019 and pleaded guilty to plying for hire and driving without valid motor insurance on 5 July 2018. He was fined £153 for plying for hire, £461 for invalid motor insurance, given 6 points on his DVLA licence, and also has to pay costs of £735 with a victim surcharge of £46.

Shahid Farooq accepted a journey which had not been pre-booked from Milton Keynes Station to Bletchley on 12 July 2018 at 9:25am. Further investigations showed that the vehicle used by the driver was not insured for this journey. Mr Farooq did not attend and was found guilty in his absence to plying for hire and driving without valid motor insurance on 12 July 2018. He was fined £220 for plying for hire, £660 for invalid motor insurance, given 6 points on his DVLA licence, and also has to pay costs of £735 with a victim surcharge of £66.

At the time of the offences Mr Aruna’s vehicle was operated by Uber and licensed by Transport for London. Mr Farooq’s vehicle was operated by Speedline and licensed by South Northants Council. TFL and SNC will take appropriate action in regard to the Private Hire/Hackney Carriage driver licences.

Chair of MKC’s Taxi Licensing Committee, Cllr Catriona Morris, said: “These two cases should highlight to drivers licensed by outside councils/agencies that enforcement operations are conducted during all hours in Milton Keynes and if they illegally ply for hire then they will be caught.”

“I hope that outside private hire drivers are getting the message that if they come to Milton Keynes and illegally ply for hire then the consequences for them will be severe.”

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