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More than 2,000 people were caught transporting passengers illegally this year, the Abu Dhabi Police revealed on Sunday. A total of 2,198 people were caught illegally transporting residents in their privately owned vehicles.

The police said some drivers operating their private cars as taxis do not hold licenses issued by the UAE authorities and may even be staying in the country illegally.

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“The public is urged to not get into private vehicles operating as illegal taxis and to only use licensed ones,” a police official said. “We urge people to be cautious and help authorities eliminate this dangerous behavior.”

Brigadier Ibrahim Sultan Al Zaabi, director of the transport security department, Abu Dhabi Police, said illegally transporting passengers has serious effects on the “health and safety of society”.

He pointed out that passengers are putting themselves at risk by getting into vehicles of unauthorized drivers. He added that should an accident take place, legal prosecution becomes difficult when the driver is unknown or unlicensed.

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