Dutch Prosecutors Open Criminal Investigation Into Uber Following Violations Of Banned Service

uberUber’s latest hurdle to provide service in Europe, where many cities and countries have banned the ride-sharing service, comes in the form of a criminal investigation by Dutch prosecutors.

Reuters reports that prosecutors launched the inquiry into the company after police in Amsterdam caught dozens of Uber drivers offering taxi services, a violation of a previous court order.

Back in December, a Dutch court banned the company’s low-cost UberPOP service from providing rides to customers on the grounds that it violated commercial driver’s licensing laws.

In all, police have fined 23 drivers 1,500 euros (about $1,618.50) each for operating taxi services without the proper licenses, Reuters reports.

At least four additional drivers were caught in a sting by inspectors from the Ministry of Environment & Infrastructure who pretended to be passengers before making arrests, Consumerist reported back in October.

As for the new criminal investigation, prosecutors – who raided Uber’s European offices in March – say they are treating the company as they would any other criminal suspect.

“This means a preliminary examination will be started to collect evidence that Uber is providing illegal transportation on a commercial basis,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement.

Dutch launch criminal investigation into Uber [Reuters]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.