By Lexy Hamilton-Smith | ABC
Two taxi drivers violently attacked an Uber driver after using the service to order a car so they could ambush him, a court has heard.
Sukhcharan Singh Bal placed an order with the ride-sharing service on the night of the attacks, setting up the ambush in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane Magistrates Court heard.
Prosecutor Sergeant Scott Pearson said co-accused Jaskirat Singh joined Bal in the assaults.
Sergeant Pearson described the alleged attack as an “absolutely pre-meditated set-up”.
He said Singh said to the driver: “Are you Uber, are you Uber?”
When the driver said yes, Singh allegedly replied: “F*** Uber, you are taking away our business.”
Both Singh and Bal face a string of charges including stealing and wilful damage.
Magistrate Judy Daley granted bail to the men, but ordered them not to contact any Uber operators.
Singh and Bal were also ordered to surrender their passports.
Both are due to appear in court again on November 11.
After the court hearing, Black & White Cabs managing director Greg Webb confirmed both Bal and Singh had been suspended pending further investigations and court proceedings.
“A driver found guilty of a criminal offence of this nature will be disaffiliated from Black & White Cabs and will not be permitted to drive a taxi for Black & White Cabs at any time in the future,” he said.
“We regret that recent regulatory instability within the taxi industry has resulted in vigilante behaviour against individuals and again we reiterate that this behaviour is not tolerated.”
Ride sharing is illegal under current Queensland law, but a State Government review of the taxi industry is examining how ride-sharing could be made to fit into the personal transport industry.