Traffic control in Calvia. | P. BOTA

Three “pirate taxi operators” have been fined a total of 18,000 euros in Calvia. Over the past few months, the Guardia Civil traffic police in the municipality have been carrying out various controls and stop-and-checks as part of an investigation into people operating illegal taxi services in Calvia. As a result, three have been caught and fined 6,001 euros each.

While catching pirate taxi drivers is extremely difficult, according to Calvia Council, the Guardia Civil, with the support of the Local Police force, will be continuing with its crackdown throughout the summer season.

The latest incident occurred on Wednesday morning at 7am when a pirate taxi driver carrying four foreign passengers, was stopped by the Guardia Civil in Magalluf.

The driver was apparently charging five euros per person for a trip from Magalluf to Palma.
Prior to that, an illegal cabbie was caught driving a rented mini-bus between Magalluf and the airport.

The third illegal taxi driver was caught on May 31 and midday operating outside Marineland.
During the first six months of this year the Guardia Civil traffic division in Calvia have mounted 229 traffic controls, inspected 8,445 vehicles and have handed down 814 fines for various traffic offenses.

The council said yesterday that the Guardia Civil are also working in close cooperation with the department for transport and local taxi associations which are being informed to encourage their legal drivers to pass any suspicious information on to the police. But, pirate taxi drivers are not only a problem in Calvia.

Teams of inspectors which have been deployed to Palma airport to crackdown on illegal pirate taxi services are having to be moved to the Playa de Palma where the pirate taxi industry appears to be rife again this summer. This has been a burning issues for many years.

It has led to mass strikes at the airport, violent clashes between legal and pirate cabbies with shots being fired once, and lightning stoppages every summer which have left tourists stranded at the airport for hours with taxi drivers refusing to work until the problem of pirate taxi drivers is properly dealt with.

Apparently, the pirate cabbies are patrolling resorts, in particular near the hotels, picking up clients who are waiting for legitimate taxi drivers.

Pirate cabbies are offering services to the airport for just ten euros, a fee legal and registered taxi drivers, especially those which are self employed, can not compete with.