A taxi driver has been arrested for locking four US passengers in his taxi last Friday night, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Leng Kam Lun said during a regular press conference Tuesday.
According to Leng, the suspect is a 26-year-old local man surnamed Lao.
Leng said that the four passengers – a couple surnamed Bradley and two of their relatives, got into the taxi driven by Lao at 11p.m. outside a casino in Cotai, asking him to take them to Rua da Penha on the peninsula. Before setting off, Lao told the passengers how much he wanted to take them to the peninsula. Leng did not elaborate.
However, Mrs Bradley, who is a Hong Kong resident who speaks Cantonese and is familiar with Macau, disagreed with the inflated fare.
According to Leng, Lao then became angry and started to insult the passengers using foul language. Lao started to argue with them while the four were keen to get out of the taxi as they thought Lao was very disrespectful to them.
Instead of letting them out, Lao locked the doors and kept insulting and swearing at them. Mr Bradley, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, tried a few times to open the door. He eventually managed to open it, and asked the hotel security members for help.
A Public Security Police (PSP) officer stationed at the hotel arrived at the scene. Under questioning, Lao admitted that he tried to overcharge them, and got angry when the passengers refused his demand. The suspect claimed that it was Mrs. Bradley who insulted him first, hence he insulted her back and locked them in the taxi.
Leng noted that between the beginning of last year and June 1 this year, Lao was involved in 43 taxi violations consisting of 37 cases of overcharging and six refusing hire.
The suspect has been arrested and is facing possible arraignment on a charge of false imprisonment. If found guilty, Lao faces between one and five years behind bars.
Macau has recently been hit by a string of cases where cabbies locked passengers in their taxis when the latter refused to pay overcharged fares.