KUALA LUMPUR • A taxi ride from the city centre to a suburban housing estate in Setapak covered a distance of just 10km, but two passengers from Bangladesh were charged RM950 (S$306).
Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) said it had identified the driver, believed to be in his 30s, and detained him last Thursday. This followed a police report lodged by the two extortion victims on Sept 18.
"We have instructed the driver and the taxi operator to testify at our office," Spad said in a statement, as quoted by the New Straits Times (NST) daily.
"The cab has also been seized to assist in the investigation."
Media reports say the two victims had just arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Terengganu, and had agreed to pay RM50 each for the 10km ride. But the cabby asked for RM950 when they arrived at their destination.
Going by the meter, the charge would not have exceeded RM30.
The two victims argued with the cabby, but they gave in for fear of being harmed, as the man had a wooden stick and a metal rod in his taxi, said NST.
If found guilty, the driver could be fined up to RM50,000 or face imprisonment for up to three years, or both. The taxi company could be fined between RM1,000 and RM500,000, and its executives could face jail time of up to two years, or both.