Woman fined $12,000 for failing to pay fares to 10 taxi drivers

SINGAPORE - A woman who dodged paying taxi fares to 10 cabbies over five months was fined a total of $12,000 on Friday.

Liu Meiqi, 33, was fined $1,200 or five days' jail on each charge after admitting to 10 counts of failing to pay taxi fares between Oct 5, 2013, and March 8 last year.

The fares, ranging from $6 to $35, amounted to $133.

A traffic court heard that she took eight rides on Comfort and two on CityCab.

In the first case on Oct 5, 2013, she used her Maybank credit card to pay for the $17 fare but the transactions were not successful.

She told the taxi driver that she would transfer the taxi fare to the driver's bank account as she had no cash with her. She provided her identity card and mobile phone number to the taxi driver, who gave Liu her bank account number. She lodged a police report when she did not get any payment from Liu.

Liu used a similar ruse with other drivers. When she did not make the payment as promised and the victims tried calling her, she would either not answer the calls, say she was busy or switch off her phone.

She had a similar conviction in 2013 when she was fined a total of $2,400 for failing to pay four taxi drivers.

She could have been fined up to $2,000 per charge.