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Uber's double Dutch moment: Cops raid offices a second time

Ride-booking app one of the few things not allowed in Amsterdam

Ride-booking app-maker Uber once again finds itself in the crosshairs of police in the Netherlands for breaking taxi laws.

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service said on Tuesday that cops raided Uber's Amsterdam office as part of an ongoing crackdown against the California upstart for operating unlicensed taxis. The plod also seized some of Uber's internal documents.

According to the Public Prosecution Service, Uber lets people drive others around town using the UberPOP app without obtaining commercial taxi permits, which are required by law. Uber operates the POP service (known in the US as UberX), in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague and Utrecht.

Uber is appealing a 2014 ruling that its service is illegal in the Netherlands, and continues to operate UberPOP while it awaits a final decision from the Dutch courts. In the meantime, the company risks running up fines for flouting the law.

"Uber will of course continue to cooperate with the Dutch authorities on this ongoing investigation into uberPOP. Naturally we dispute the allegations as the legal status of uberPOP continues to be debated in court and the underlying law is under legislative review," an Uber spokesperson told The Register.

"We remain committed to offering safe, reliable, and affordable transport options in the Netherlands, such as our recent launch of a low-cost professional service uberX and our existing UberBLACK and UberLUX services."

This is the second time this year that Uber's Amsterdam office has been raided by police. In May, the cops paid Uber a visit to collect information on UberPOP.

Uber operates a number of professional services – such as UberBlack and UberLUX – that use commercial drivers and cars to transport customers. But it's the low-cost UberX or UberPOP service – in which drivers use their own cars and no commercial license is required – that has irked city governments and taxi authorities, who claim the service violates taxi licensing laws. ®


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