By Oisin Sweeney • 22 November 2020 • 8:42
SEVILLE court hears evidence against the airport’s ‘taxi mafia’.
A Seville court has heard from two anonymous witnesses in the case against the city’s ‘taxi mafia’ who operate in the airport.
Two protected witnesses testified about the ‘state of terror’ imposed by the powerful organisation that controls ‘the monopoly’ of Seville Airport’s lucrative taxi ranks. Their identities are to remain secret as their statements could place them in ‘serious danger’, the court decided.
The court heard that the ‘Asociacion Hispalense Solidaridad del Taxi’ organisation operated like a mafia system, which ‘implemented terror’ on its members and rivals. Several of its members stand accused of criminal enterprise, coercion, and property damage. One witness described ‘attacks on fellow members by piercing their tires, pouring acid on their doors’, saying that the group ‘had no limits, they attack wherever they can’. The court heard that ‘even families’ could be threatened if the group deemed an individual was ‘against them’.
One witness said that non-member drivers knew not to use the popular taxi ranks controlled by the group at the city airport ‘because they know there are those with cameras there who keep the license numbers’ of the cars, which later receive ‘reprisals’ for cutting into their territory. The taxi racket came to light when two drivers were charged with an arson attack on several cars owned by the Cabify company in May 2017. The court heard that Seville’s City Hall representatives were ‘practically accomplices’ to the taxi mafia due to their ‘neglect of duties’ on pursuing the issue.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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