A former banker who illegally touted for passengers when he was short of cash has been fined.
Ifthika Ahamadeen, 49, of Hampton Road, Worcester Park, tried to use his car to pick up passengers off the street – a practice only permitted for black cab drivers.
He pleaded guilty to touting for hire and using a motor vehicle without third party insurance when he appeared for sentencing at South West London Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, July 31.
The court heard Ahamadeen had picked up two female passengers from outside Oceana nightclub in Kingston and agreed to take them home for £22, at about 3am on July 7.
The opportunist driver was not licensed or insured to carry paying passengers and was stopped by police in Church Grove, Hampton Wick, after they spotted his Vauxhall Saphira travel over Kingston Bridge.
Ahamadeen’s defence counsel Mr Gordon told the court the divorcee had been made redundant from his job as a banker and was working night shifts at a bakery to make money for his young child.
He said: “He was short of money. As he was working in and near Kingston he saw people queuing up for cabs. He wanted to have a go.”
Head magistrate Mr Grigor warned Ahamadeen the laws governing taxis and private hire vehicles were to protect the public as well as drivers.
Ahamadeen was ordered to pay £160 in fines, £85 costs, a £15 victim surcharge and was also given 10 points on his driving licence.