Yet another tale of rogue taxi drivers taking advantage of tourists is making headlines—following the news this weekend that a woman was charged 6,000 CZK for a 14km ride.
Now iDnes.cz is reporting that Prague police officers responded to accusations, this past Saturday, from a pair of tourists who were charged an overpriced fare and subsequently held in a hostage-like situation while the driver waited for payment.
A couple hired the taxi on Saturday night from Rytířská Street to their hotel near Jiráskovo náměstí. For the 2km ride, the cabbie demanded 2,000 CZK.
When the taxi driver saw the couple was unable to pay the fare he sent the man to his hotel room to retrieve the cash, locking his female partner in the backseat as collateral.
A hotel receptionist reported the incident to the police immediately, explaining to the tourists that they had been overcharged. The driver lowered the price to 800 CZK, but the concierge insisted this was still too much.
A police spokesperson says that the elderly passenger then paid the driver 300 CZK, but the man tore up the notes, threw them on the ground, and threatened the concierge with slow and painful death.
As soon as the police arrived, the driver was gone. He was later apprehended on Rytířská; an investigation is ongoing.
Recently, legislation has been introduced that would crack down on dishonest Czech taxi drivers; the mayor of Prague also began a sign campaign to warn tourists about cabs in April.
Probably the most fierce advocate for fair taxi practices is Stream.cz show host and filmmaker Janek Rubeš; see our interview with him here.