The taxi driver was not detained because of any criminal act toward a passenger. He was wanted because he failed to follow up on what amounts to a parole on an earlier charge.
But the arrest does show a danger to expats when they use taxi services. The vehicle that police stopped was bearing false license plates, they said.
The man’s vehicle was stopped in the troubled neighborhood of La Tabla in San Rafael Abajo de Desamparados. The driver may have been just trying to make money by pretending to be a licensed taxi driver. But his last conviction was for carrying a firearm without a permit.
When he appeared in court on that case, he was given conditional discharge, but police said he did not follow up on the attached conditions.
Some taxi operators use a false license plate that is a duplicate of a legitimate taxi. That way they have have two vehicles on the road at once.
However, other tax drivers discourage this and call police.