A WEST COUNTRY taxi driver banned by Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) is back working in the city for Uber after Transport for London granted him a private hire licence.
The local authority had refused to renew Ariel Neamt’s hackney licence in 2013 because of evidence provided by the National Illegal Money Lending Team. Officers found a large amount of cash plus documentation the Romanian national had leant money illegally.
A spokesman for B&NES Council said:
An extremely dim view was taken of his illegal money laundering operation, which had connotations of a loan shark and organised criminal activity, calling into disrepute the good name of the taxi trade in Bath and North East Somerset.
Mr Neamt said he was not a “loan shark” and that he had been trying to sell his fleet of cars so he could return to Romania because his father had cancer.
He claimed his drivers had been paying him for their cab vehicles in instalments and did not realise he needed a “consumer credit licence” to do this.