Two licensing officers working at night, liaising with licensees.

Fake taxi driver caught out by Liverpool City Council

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A man illegally posing as a Liverpool taxi driver – and putting the safety of his passengers at risk – has been fined and banned from driving following an investigation by Liverpool City Council’s Taxi Licensing team.

Earlier this month (6 July), Mruan Elkehya pleaded guilty to ten charges including acting as a private hire vehicle driver, driving without insurance and plying for hire without a licence. He received 24 penalty points on his DVLA licence and was disqualified for driving for 12 months. In addition, he was also fined £440, has to pay costs of £325 and a surcharge of £176.

The successful prosecution follows a two-month investigation which saw the City Council’s Licensing Enforcement Officers observe Mr Elkehya plying for trade illegally on five different occasions. Officers were initially alerted to the actions of the driver after he was stopped on Saturday 4 February 2023 and produced an out-of-date driver’s badge, meaning that his insurance would have been invalid if he picked up passengers.

In the weeks running up to Wednesday 8 March, he was stopped four more times when he was witnessed dropping people off in the city centre and displaying magnetic taxi door signs for companies he didn’t work for, and even on one occasion had two Liverpool City Council magnetic signs on display.

Although previously a Liverpool Private Hire Licence holder, and despite giving assurances that he was in the process of renewing his licence, this did not happen and Mr Elkehya was cautioned for the offences by the City Council team and then by Merseyside Police.

The case was heard at Liverpool Magistrates Court.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for taxi licensing, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:

“Cracking down on drivers posing as taxi drivers is critical in our commitment to safeguarding residents and visitors, ensuring everyone is as safe as possible when they travel around our city.

“These rogue drivers not only jeopardise the wellbeing of unsuspecting passengers but also undermine the credibility of legitimate taxi services. By operating without the necessary licenses and insurance, they create a hazardous environment on our roads, leaving innocent lives at risk.

“The severity of this ban, penalty points and fine sends out a strong message that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and our proactive team will do everything they can to keep people like this off our streets.

“I’d like to congratulate the team for their work in making sure every journey is a safe and secure, provided by licensed, responsible and trustworthy drivers.”

Liverpool Waterfront