Police in Istanbul detained 19 taxi drivers on Friday on charges of scamming tourists.
The authorities had launched an investigation upon complaints and tipoffs that a gang of 63 taxi drivers was overcharging tourists near popular locations in the city, including Taksim Square and the Blue Mosque. Enzo Roco, a Chilean international of Turkey’s Süper Lig club Beşiktaş, was one of the victims.
Operations are underway to capture the other suspects. Authorities also canceled the licenses of 38 taxi drivers. Police were monitoring them for a long time and found out that the accused deliberately took longer routes to scam tourists while some overcharged the victims. Some drivers were also accused of beating victims who refused to pay extra. In Roco’s case, the taxi driver asked the footballer to pay TL 1,000 for a ride from Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district to Sultan Ahmet (Blue Mosque) Square, a fare that costs around TL 35 at most.