A taxi driver in Northern Ireland has been charged after social media footage appeared to show a passenger being threatened with a suspected gun. The man (48), who was sacked earlier on Friday by taxi company Fonacab, has been charged with possession of a firearm or imitation with intent to cause fear of violence, threats to kill, common assault and possession of a Class A controlled drug. He will appear before Laganside Magistrates Court on Saturday, June 3rd.
Earlier taxi company Fonacab said it had “terminated” its relationship with a driver with immediate effect.
The company said it was made aware of the footage late on Wednesday night and had been liaising with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).
Fonacab said the incident did not relate to a “passenger booking” and the driver captured in the footage had “logged off and was not working for Fonacab at the time of the incident”.
A spokeswoman for the PSNI urged anyone with information to come forward.
“Police are aware of a video circulating online showing a man with a suspected firearm and have launched an investigation,” she said.
Fonacab said after it was made aware of the footage it told a male driver to present himself at head office.
The company said that driver was “interviewed and his relationship with Fonacab immediately terminated”.
“Fonacab has been liaising with the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) Northern Ireland and the PSNI and any further action will be determined by them,” the statement added.
“Our investigation was completed and our action taken before the footage was released on social media. Due to the nature of the content of the footage, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment on the footage while other investigations are undertaken.
“We will however state that any action which affects the safety of our passengers, staff and drivers is never acceptable and should any infringement occur will be dealt with immediately by Fonacab and referred to the appropriate authorities.
“Drivers at Fonacab complete the same training and vetting as all taxi drivers in Northern Ireland and in addition we expect them to maintain the high standards that we hold ourselves to.
“We average 100,000 bookings per week, and we do everything we can to ensure that each of those customers is given the same high level of professional service.”
The company said it does not tolerate incidents where “safety is compromised, standards are not upheld, or the company and our drivers are called into disrepute”. - PA