Charged taxi driver will continue driving cab

A taxi driver prohibited from driving his cab in late July was given the OK yesterday to get back on the road.

A taxi driver prohibited from driving his cab in late July was given the OK yesterday to get back on the road.

Supreme Court Judge John Faulkner ruled Mohamed Abdullahi of Golden Taxi can continue to drive his cab as long as he doesn’t pick up unaccompanied women.

In late June, Abdullahi was charged with sexually assaulting a female passenger late at night.

Initially, Abdullahi was not to drive his cab until the charges were lifted, but he appealed the charges and was allowed to continue driving so long as he didn’t pick up unaccompanied women.

On July 22, Abdullahi was pulled off the road during a taxi sting operation organized by the RCMP and city bylaw services.

Officers monitoring taxis from inside the Erik Neilson International Airport watched as Abdullahi allowed a single woman into his cab.

Thinking Abdullahi had breached the conditions of his charge, they ordered him off the road.

The police didn’t make any inquiries of the woman in the car, said Abdullahi’s lawyer Andre Roothman.

“The cop didn’t even get her name correct. He wrote ‘Deutsch’ as her last name by reading it off her passport. But it’s a nationality!” he said.

Had they interviewed her, they would have discovered that Abdullahi never intended to take the woman on as a fare, he said.

When the woman approached the taxi, Abdullahi asked her if she was alone and when she said, “Yes,” he phoned his brother, another Golden Taxi driver at the airport, to pick her up instead.

He drove his car 50 metres to the front of the taxi queue so his brother could pull in behind him.

“It’s a very competitive business, he didn’t want to lose the fare to another business,” said Roothman.

A later interview with the woman in the cab supported Abdullahi’s story, said Roothman.

Abdullahi is not impressed by the way he’s been dealt with by the RCMP and feels he has been unfairly treated because of his race and “obvious Muslim name,” said Roothman.

Abdullahi’s sexual assault case will go to trial in October. Until then, the condition that he not pick up unaccompanied women remains in effect.

Contact Vivian Belik at

vivianb@yukon-news.com

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