Skip to main content

South Korea charges Uber with illegal taxi operations

Uber's woes never seem to end.

South Korea's largest news agency, The Yonhap News Agency reports (opens in new tab)that some 30 people, including Uber's chief of the local unit have been charged under suspicion of running illegal taxi services in South Korea.

The head of Uber Korea, heads of six different car rental firms, as well as a number of drivers, are suspected of operating without a licence, local police have said.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who has already been indicted on charges of establishing and running Uber Korea, was booked again on suspicion of conducting an illegal business, they added.

The police have said that Uber Korea took 20 per cent of passenger's taxi fare as commission, and that one car rental firm made 96 million won (£57,000) in three months.

Police also said the Uber app poses a risk for passenger safety as drivers are not screened, cars are uninsured and mobile phone numbers and credit card numbers could be leaked.

"We plan to summon Kalanick soon and check the transaction details of overseas bank accounts to conduct further investigation into those involved in the case," a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "If Kalanick continues to disobey the summons, we plan to seek an arrest warrant against him."

The CEO has remained in the United States and refuses to stand trial in South Korea.

Uber’s been making headlines almost since its inception, and only recently IT Pro Portal reported (opens in new tab)how a database of drivers who work with the Uber app was accessed last May, resulting in the possible theft of information on 50,000 drivers.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.