SINGAPORE — Four drivers have been caught providing illegal cross-border chauffeured services between Singapore and Malaysia without a valid licence.

They were caught during an enforcement operation last week, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Feb 21).

“For your own safety, do refrain from using such services,” the authority said in its post, which contains photos of vehicles being towed away.

“Besides being illegal, the vehicles used may not be sufficiently insured against third-party liabilities which could pose a serious problem for passengers should an accident occur,” LTA said.

Drivers who are caught providing illegal hire-and-reward services, including cross-border services without a valid Public Service Vehicle Licence (PSVL), can face a jail term of up to six months, a fine of up to S$3,000, or both. 

The vehicle used may also be forfeited, said LTA.

Investigations into the cases are ongoing.

Bookings of cross-border point-to-point ride-hail services, including those made through social media and messaging platforms such as Facebook and Telegram, are illegal, LTA said in response to CNA queries on Wednesday.

Under the Road Traffic Act (RTA), all vehicles, including foreign-registered vehicles, must have a valid PSVL to provide taxi or chauffeured private hire car services. 

Currently the only licensed providers of cross border point-to-point services are Singapore and Malaysian taxis that have been granted an ASEAN Public Service Vehicle Permit (PSVP). 

Malaysian taxis are also required to obtain a Cross-Border PSVL.

These taxis are available for hire at Ban San Street Terminal (Singapore) and Johor Larkin Terminal (Malaysia), which are the designated pick-up and drop-off points for cross-border taxi services, said LTA. 

Passengers may also book cross-border trips through licensed Singapore taxi operators.

LTA also said that it is working with platforms such as Klook, KKday and Google to remove advertisements of illegal cross border services and some have accordingly been removed.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat lauded the “vigilant efforts” of the LTA enforcement officers in intercepting the four drivers attempting to provide illegal cross-border services.

He added that he has asked LTA to take a firm stance against these unlawful practices and conduct undercover operations to catch the errant drivers.

“To the drivers who are thinking of offering such illegal services, let me say this: Think carefully before breaking the rules, as you never know if your next ‘customer’ is actually an undercover LTA officer,” said Mr Chee.

Since 2022, 12 drivers have been caught for providing illegal cross-border passenger transport services with foreign-registered vehicles, said LTA. 

The penalties for those who have been charged and convicted so far include fines of up to S$1,800 and vehicle forfeiture. CNA

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