Austrian vloggers’ taxi scammer nabbed

First he went viral; now he risks losing his driver’s license.

A taxi driver was arrested on Wednesday after forcing two Austrian passengers to pay an additional amount for their luggage after he was hired for a ride.

Austrian vloggers Michael Holaschke and Anela Hrnic last Monday posted a YouTube video of their encounter with the taxi driver, who was later identified as Jhumil Bule from Taytay, Rizal.

While the couple were en route to their destination in Makati City, Bule told them that they would have to pay an extra amount for their “heavy luggage.”

But the couple, who have been in the Philippines numerous times in the last two years, knew that Bule was trying to pull off a scam, which prompted the Austrian vloggers to document the encounter.

Screengrab from Making it happen Vlog

Hrnic said that Bule “started to make a scene” after telling him that the taxi fare should be based on the meter.

Holaschke said that after Bule noticed that they were documenting him, the driver allegedly tried to attack him and take away his phone.

“(When) the taxi driver turned around and tried to hit Mike, I got really scared and I started filming for our own defense,” Hrnic said.

Meanwhile, the Austrian couple clarified that the incident does not reflect all of the Filipino taxi drivers. 

“This is not a representation of the Philippines. Filipinos are the kindest, friendliest people that we’ve ever met and this is the first time in two years travelling to the Philippines that we’ve had bad experience,” Holaschke said.

Following the incident, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) immediately coordinated with the Taytay police and launched a manhunt operation that led to the eventual arrest of Bule.

Charges will be filed against Bule before the Pasay City prosecutor’s office.

MIAA general manager Ed Monreal personally confronted Bule upon his arrest and recommended for the revocation of his driver’s license. Montreal also ordered the MIAA police authorities to ban the entire fleet of the DAVIS taxi in the NAIA Terminals.

“Beginning last Monday, May 6, we have removed the white taxi queuing lane in NAIA Terminal 1 as a prelude to eventually putting an end to the privilege given to them to line up and pick up passengers in the four terminals,” Montreal said.

“While we do not intend to limit the choices to MIAA accredited transport, we are also duty-bound to protect our passengers from enterprising drivers,” Montreal added.

A total of 301 complaints were recorded against white taxis in 2018 while 56 incidents were reported in the first quarter of 2019. The complaints have already been endorsed to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for proper action.

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