A Manila airport taxi driver whose bare-faced attempt to scam two Austrian travel bloggers went viral online has been arrested.
The YouTubers, Mike & Nelly, have today (Wednesday, May 8) expressed their “deep appreciation” to airport authorities after they took action.
In their video — which has racked up 175,000 views since it was posted on Monday — the driver tried to force the couple to pay extra for their luggage.
Being regular visitors to the Philippines, the ‘vloggers’ refused to pay up, stressing that they were aware that no such additional payment was necessary.
After filming an argument with the driver, now identified as Jhumil Bule, he stopped his cab in a deserted street and ordered the couple to get out. After they refused, he continued to drive, but took them on an obvious detour.
In the opening of the video [watch below] on their ‘Making it Happen Vlog’ channel, Mike says: “I’m a little bit shaky right now, I’ve just been attacked by a cab driver.”
Action against Manila airport taxi drivers
After catching wind of the driver’s behaviour, airport authority general manager Ed Monreal ordered the Intelligence and Investigation Department under Colonel Roque Alcantara to identify him.
After he was tracked down and hauled to the airport’s intelligence office, Mr Monreal personally appeared and gave him a tongue lashing before ordering him to surrender his licence.
He also ordered airport police authorities to ban the entire fleet of white DAVIS taxis from all Nino Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals.
“Beginning last Monday, May 6, we have removed the white taxi queuing lane in NAIA Terminal 1 as a prelude to eventually putting an end to the privilege given to them to line up and pick up passengers in the four terminals,” he said.
“This campaign against abusive taxi drivers also extends to the drivers of MIAA accredited transport services. No one is exempted here. We have no room for people who continue to destroy the reputation of NAIA and damage the image of our country before the world. Sadly, this people simply have no love for country.”
Charges against the driver will be filed before the Pasay City prosecutor’s office.
Last year, the airport’s Customer Relations Center recorded 301 complaints against white taxis. So far this year, 56 have been received.
However, it should be noted that not all Manila airport taxi drivers are bad eggs. In April last year, for example, we reported on one who voluntarily returned $3,000 in cash that was left in his cab.