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Is Uber a ‘criminal’ organisation?

Uber Source: YouTube

A taxi driver disrupted the ongoing city council meeting calling Uber a "criminal organization" and linking it to “cigarette smugglers.”

A taxi driver in Ottawa, Canada, disrupted the ongoing city council meeting.

Tony Hajjar, called Uber a "criminal organization" and linked it to “cigarette smugglers.”

He further added - "Think of what the hell you're doing, all of you. … These are families you're breaking up here."


There are almost 2,000 taxi drivers in Ottawa.

The councillors voted to legalize Uber, and other app-based ride-hailing services, under a new licensing category.

The changes, which include a reduction in licencing fees for traditional taxi drivers, will come into effect on 30th September 2016.

Uber Canada has indicated that it will continue to operate illegally before the implementation date.

Ian Black of Uber Canada said - "We look forward to working with the city to come into compliance as the bylaw comes into effect."

Ottawa has issued nearly 200 fines to Uber drivers since October 2014.

Susan Jones, Acting Deputy City Manager, said that officers will continue to enforce the current rules until the new ones take effect.

Mayor of the city council, Jim Watson, denounced Uber's methods but added the company has forced the city to adapt to the new reality.

In Australia, some states like Western Australia, New South Wales, ACT, and South Australia have allowed or will soon allow Uber to operate legally.

Most ride-sharing service drivers will need to undergo criminal and safety checks.

Last year the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) had issued a directive stating that drivers in Australia who generate income from Uber will be considered “a business.”

ATO also advised these people to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and registered for GST.

Uber had responded to ATO's directive by lodging a case at the Federal Court arguing that the public issue by the ATO "unfairly targets Uber's driver-partners."

State governments of Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, and Northern Territory have no regulation as of yet or are still considering whether or not to legalise Uber.