A law-enforcement officer taking the ignition key out of an illegal cab. Salim Matramkot
DOHA: Law-enforcement officials yesterday intercepted two illegal private taxis near Al Ghanem bus terminus and took their drivers in custody.
It was late in the afternoon, around 4pm, and the bus terminus was quite busy, bustling with passengers.
Outside the terminus, two illegal taxi operators could be seen soliciting passengers, offering them a ride for QR3 each.
And just as they succeeded in getting some passengers a couple of Land Cruisers came zooming past the illegal cabs, and blocked their way.
Two men wearing track suits, apparently from law-enforcement, rushed out from each Land Cruiser, and headed to the illegal cabs.
They opened the front side door of the cabs in a flash and took the keys out of ignition so the drivers couldn’t move the vehicles.
Just as this was happening a Lekhwiya (Internal Security Force) patrol arrived on the scene, providing back-up to the two law-enforcement officials.
One official asked the passengers seated in one of the cabs in Hindi how much they had paid. Pat came the reply, also in Hindi, “three riyals”!
The officials instantly took front seats in each of the illegal cabs and asked the drivers to move, and take their cars, apparently to the police station. The Lekhwiya patrol followed them.
Private taxis are outlawed in Qatar.
They began thriving after the blue-and-orange cabs were taken off the road a decade ago and Mowasalat introduced its modern fleet.
Law-enforcement agencies have been cracking down on them and have in the past caught many of them. The Peninsula