Romanian police fine two taxi drivers for ripping off Ukrainian refugees

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Romanian police have fined two Bucharest  taxi drivers and taken away their licenses for ripping off  Ukrainian refugees.

Tens of thousands of refugees have crossed into Romania since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Some have remained at the border crossings or nearby, while others have gone on to other towns.


There has been an outpouring of help from ordinary people in Romania who have  donated food, toiletries and shelter and provided backup to help given by authorities.

But not everyone has opened their arms.

One Bucharest driver was handed a 10,000 lei fine for trying to charge three Ukrainians an exorbitant sum for a ride, local police said Wednesday.

Another driver was fined 500 lei, about 100 euros, for refusing to take a family of refugees to a hotel.


„Help offered to refugees doesn’t always come with the best intentions. There are unfortunately unscrupulous people … who don’t mind taking advantage of the tragedy of people fleeing war,” police said in a statement.

A similar situation occurred at the Filaret bus station in south Bucharest where groups of refugees were looking for rides to safe locations.

A Bucharest taxi driver offered his services and turned the meter off. “He took a much larger sum the actual cost of the journey,” police said.


Police caught the taxi driver during the ride after they noticed he didn’t have his light on, but was transporting passengers.

They stopped him, saw the meter was turned off and fined him 10,000 lei_ about 2,000 euros. He had his license taken away.

Another taxi driver was nabbed after refusing to take a family with two children to a Bucharest hotel.

He was fined 500 lei and police took away his professional driver’s certificate.


Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said that 120,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered the country since the conflict started.

There are currently about 46,000 in the county including 18,000 children. More than 1,000 have asked for asylum.

Romania’s ethnic Russian community offers to look after displaced Ukrainian children


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