Local police in Calvia (Palmanova, Magalluf and Santa Ponsa) ha ve fired a broadside against pirate taxis, seizing 12 vehicles and imposing heavy fines. "This is a serious office and goes against all transport regulations," said a police spokesperson.

"Illegal cabbies" face a maximum fine of 12,000 euros if convicted. According to police most of the vehicles involved were taking tourists to the airport. Last summer there was a severe shortage of taxis on the island.

The illegal cabs were brought to the attention of local police as a result of spot-checks and reports from members of the public.

"This practice will not be tolerated," said a police spokerson.