Hong Kong police arrest 21 Uber drivers in latest crackdown

"Ridesharing should not be a crime". "We stand together with the 21 driver partners and their families, and will continue to provide assistance, including legal support, during this hard time", it said.

Those drivers were arrested in a police swoop in 2015 after furious traditional cabbies smashed up their own taxis with hammers and called for authorities to act over unlicensed cars.

Uber said it discovered the error while it was creating a more-detailed receipt for its drivers.

The arrests marked the latest upset for the San Francisco-based technology company, which in March said it would help five convicted Uber drivers to appeal their court case in Hong Kong.

Uber says it sent out notices to everyone who has driven for Uber since its driver agreement went into affect in 2014.

Uber is one of the biggest ride-hailing services in the world, with operations in more than 450 cities in over 70 countries. "We also pay sales tax on gross fares as required by law".

After gathering evidence, officers swooped into action between 6.30am and 10am on Tuesday, raiding a number of locations.

Twelve of the 21 drivers were understood to have been caught when they arrived to pick up undercover police officers in Kowloon Tong and Tseung Kwan O.

Twenty men and a woman - aged between 21 and 59 - were arrested on suspicion of carrying passengers illegally for reward and not having third-party risks insurance, a police spokesperson said.

"Initial investigations showed the drivers had been with the service for periods ranging from several days to several years and had charged clients between HK$50 and HK$150 per trip", he said.

"We are extremely disappointed by the police enforcement today". The reason for this, is that Uber has accidentally underpaid NYC drivers, and possibly for as long as the last two and half years.

The chief inspector warned that "anyone involved in aiding and abetting others to commit offences may hold the relevant legal responsibility".

Uber also added that its ridesharing insurance policy complies with the city's legal requirements. He called on people using smartphones to arrange rides to make sure that drivers have the proper vehicle hire permits. They were given five days to produce documents proving they had bought third-party insurance.

  • Zachary Reyes