Markus Pettersson, förbundssekreterare på Transportarbetarförbundet, till höger och Uber-appen till vänster.
Markus Pettersson from the Swedish Transport Workers union. Credit: Transportarbetarförbundet

21 Uber drivers have been charged

"That doesn't mean your above the law"
1:30 min

District courts in Stockholm and Gothenburg have convicted a total of 21 UberPop drivers for providing illegal taxi services, but an investigation by Dagens Nyheter found that the US company is still recruiting drivers.

Mustafa Al-Saraj was one driver who was convicted but who has appealed. He told Swedish Radio news that the police stopped him and told him he was breaking the law by working for Uberpop. Al-Saraj said that he tried to explain the service to the police but was told that Uberpop was simply an "illegal taxi" service.

"I was shocked," said Mustafa. "I lost everything in the span of a minute."

The UberPop app was started in 2014 in Paris and connected its users with drivers who do not have taxi chauffer licenses. Swedish Radio reports that police believe many of Uber's drivers are new arrivals who are not familiar with Swedish regulations.

Besides criminal charges, Uber drivers also face investigation by the Swedish tax authorities.

Markus Petterson who is the national secretary at the Swedish Transport Workers union said Uber is the problem.

"The problem here is that there is a party that doesn't think it needs to follow the rules that we've set up together in our society. That goes for both taxes and the rules and laws about taxi services. Just because you participate in an app or through another type of network and decide within these networks that only your rules apply... That doesn't mean you're above the law," said Pettersson.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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