The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is continuing its offensive against illegal taxi operators – in the most recent clampdown, six illegal taxis were apprehended during a sting operation called Ops Revus, and their operators are set to face more than just a simple fine, according to news reports.

The SPAD says that illegal taxi operators will have their vehicle ownership revoked under the Land Public Transport Act. Eighty hired cars – including those operating under the Uber network and Grabcar – have been seized by the commission since October last year, SPAD enforcement general manager Datuk Che Hasni Che Ahmad said.

He stated that out of the 80 cars seized from various illegal taxi companies utilising private vehicles to offer taxi services, 52 have had their ownership revoked – these cars are reportedly set to be auctioned off. They are among the 223 vehicles that have been identified by the commission as illegal taxis. Back in December, it was reported that five private cars were seized in an Uber operation in Johor Bahru.

“These are cars which have been providing services without permits from SPAD, which we have tracked down via intelligence and we’ve gathered evidence by using these services offered by various companies through websites,” he told reporters, adding that the commission has its sights on 59 other vehicles still at large.

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Under Section 16 of the Land Public Transport Act, individual drivers found guilty of unlicenced ferrying of passengers in privately-owned vehicles can face a fine of up to RM10,000 or a year in jail or both, while car companies can be fined up to RM100,000.

“The owners of these vehicles should know that it is wrong and they are affecting the livelihoods of those who provide legitimate services. If they want to continue doing this business, it is very simple. They just need to apply for the necessary licences and permits. Just abide by the law,” Che Hasni said.

He added that legitimate taxis that operate by charging fares without using their meters will also face the same consequences. Thus far, 953 legit taxis have been caught for not operating with their meters, and administrative action against their operators/owners is due to follow.