Two tourists from the Philippines who arrived in Hong Kong during the early hours on Saturday were charged HK$1,480 (US$189) for a taxi trip from the airport to Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, which was five times what the standard meter fare should have been.
At 1am on Saturday, Kris, 42, and Debby, 38, arrived at Hong Kong International Airport and were soon intercepted by a medium-built man in a black T-shirt in his 40s, asking if they needed a taxi ride to the city center, Apple Daily reported.
After the man assured the tourists that the fare would be charged according to a meter, the women were directed to a taxi that was standing by, and the man took the front passenger seat.
Kris, who was a second-time tourist in the city, initially asked the cabbie to take them to Sai Kung, but was then informed by the man in black that it would cost HK$1,700.
Deciding this fare was too high, they asked the driver to take them to a hotel in Tai Kok Tsui instead, for which the fare was quoted at HK$1,480. Fearing that the driver would drop them in the middle of nowhere, the tourists reluctantly paid, and were given a handwritten receipt saying “airport to hotel” as proof of payment.
The tourists said they secretly took pictures of the inside of the vehicle during the 45-minute ride, and of the back of the taxi including the license plate as soon as they got out.
The two victims called what they believed to be the correct taxi station, but were told it was not one of its vehicles.
Police said the incident had been listed as a case of a taxi driver allegedly overcharging fares, which would be handled by the Kowloon West Region traffic section.
No arrests had been made as of the date of the report.