Bern: Couple sentenced for operating a fake taxi

Bern: Couple sentenced for operating a fake taxi
Bern: Couple sentenced for operating a fake taxi

Between April 2021 and February 2024, a couple illegally operated a taxi business in the vicinity of Belp (BE), without having the required license. The man and his partner regularly transported people without being in possession of a valid taxi driver and owner’s license. The Bernese was found guilty of violating the commercial law. He will have to pay a fine of 900 francs. as well as procedural costs amounting to 300 francs.

When questioned, the competent department of the municipality of Belp indicated that it had informed the accused of the expiry of his taxi license. As the latter decided not to renew it, the municipality assumed that it would no longer be used for commercial purposes. “We had no way of knowing that the man was still shopping,” explains Benjamin Marti, the mayor of Belp. According to him, the vehicle used was not identifiable as a taxi.

Ultimately, it was the local police who discovered that the man was offering illegal rides. The authorities asked the municipality if a valid permit was still available. She said no and filed a complaint.

That said, the mayor believes the offense was likely due to negligence rather than criminal intent. The defendant assumed that due to the nature of his business, namely transporting by limousine instead of an externally recognizable taxi, he did not need a license. Since then, the man took an exam again, passed it and obtained authorization from the municipality of Belp. She announced that improvements in the monitoring process would be undertaken, in order to avoid such incidents in the future.

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