A pair of Thai tourists suffered a Parisian nightmare after being detained in a Paris taxi and scammed out of €247 ($278) for a ride that normally costs €50 to €55 ($56 to $62).
A tourist couple rode the suspicious “taxi” from Charles de Gaulle airport to the French capital on Nov. 6.
In a nine-minute video, the couple is seen arguing with the male driver who aggressively demanded €247 ($278) for the 45-kilometer (28-mile) ride.
“Taxi in Paris is not fixed price – it’s by meter,” the driver claims.
The dispute escalated as they asked to see the driver’s professional license before demanding to have them dropped in front of a police station.
“It’s not my car, it’s the company, you understand?” the driver says. “I’m not going to police. You pay me, you go to police. What is your problem?”
The driver refused to let the passengers out of the vehicle until they paid the amount. He called them “crazy” when they offered to pay €100 ($112).
“You no pay me, no problem,” he said repeatedly.
The couple attempted to contact emergency services while still in the vehicle. However, the driver accelerated to make it difficult to describe their exact location.
Without any other option, they decided to pay €200 ($226) to be let out of the vehicle.
“The doors were locked, and we had all our luggage in the trunk. He did not want to let us out, and kept driving while [supposedly] phoning his company to find a compromise. So, we decided to pay €200 to get out,” passenger Charkrid Thanhachartyothin told Le Parisien.
The driver — who claimed to be a registered private hire — sought nearly five times the actual fare according to a flat-rate fee system introduced in 2016, The Local France noted.
Official taxis taking passengers from the airport to anywhere on the city’s Left Bank or Right Bank charge €50 ($56) or €55 ($62), respectively.
The Association des VTC de France, a group of private minicab chauffeurs, has since denied knowledge of the driver in the video.
While the couple left Paris without filing a complaint, a specialist taxi police brigade called “Boers” is now investigating the incident.
The video posted on YouTube has received over 200,000 views to date, leaving many French users feeling ashamed.
“We’ll make him famous in France! Let’s share this video.”
“What a dirty dog! Because of these rats the image of France is dirty. He deserves a minimum sentence of six months and a fine of €30,000 to €50,000.”
“I’m a taxi driver. Sometimes, when there are traffic jams, it can go up to €30 and I’m embarrassed to ask customers that price. Here the guy asks €247 as if it’s normal, without guilt or anything. This is one is a son of a b***h.”
“I am French and we are desperate about this kind of very very bad people who show an inappropriate image of our country. I’m ashamed to see such behavior. Please consider that we really want these guys to disappear.”
“I am ashamed of these people in my country. You have been a victim of racketeering, kidnapping, forcible confinement and theft. This is not the image of our country and the reception of the French for people from foreign countries. I am sorry for you and I hope that the police will find this person to answer for justice.”
Images via YouTube / Charkrid Th.