21 UberPOP drivers convicted in Sweden

21 drivers for the US car-sharing service UberPOP have been found guilty of driving taxis illegally in Stockholm and Gothenburg, Dagens Nyheter reports.

21 UberPOP drivers convicted in Sweden
UberPOP driver Anthony Loussala-Dubreas, 24, of Paris, turns on his smartphone in his car in Paris. Photo: Bastien Inzaurralde/AP

Uber claims its low-cost offshoot is a car-sharing service, allowing it to accept drivers with taxi licences. But the courts have taken a different view, the newspaper found after examining court rulings in Sweden’s two biggest cities.

“While they [Uber] are protected, the drivers, who don’t know so much, take the full knock,” one of the convicted drivers told the newspaper. 

Police believe Uber targets drivers who have recently come to Sweden, are not aware of the rules, and have trouble finding other work. 

The firm’s Swedish manager, Alok Alström, rejects this claim as “baseless and irrelevant.” 

“Our view is that this is a service that is within the law,” he said. 

The first conviction came in September last year, when a Stockholm-based driver was fined 2,500 kronor ($299).

The majority of the convictions have been appealed.