In ugly footage Telecinco’s ‘El Programa del Verano’ yesterday ran an undercover report and exposed on Spanish national TV Ibiza’s wide scale pirate taxi problems that occur daily on the island.
An undercover reporter exposed in less than 5 minutes what most of us have known for many years: large organised gangs of illegal drivers offering overpriced journeys with the optional add on’s of drugs and prostitution.
In a 12 minute special the TV programme laid bare the problem and lack of action taken by the authorities in confronting these illegal drivers. The reporter questioned the drivers themselves and also tourists showing that these drivers usually charge double even for small journies.
While the pirate ‘taxi’ drivers ply their illicit trade unhindered at the airport and large clubs San Antonio’s seafront has also been in the spotlight after local residents prepared to make a formal complaint about a group of 6-8 women of African origin that gather daily between the egg and the Hotel Arenal.
Their ‘trick’ is to pretend to shake hands with passersby then quickly put a small fabric bracelet on their wrists. Unsuspecting tourists are then asked to pay for it in a threatening manner with most just handing over the money to avoid confrontation.
One local resident issued a plea on Facebook when her husband saw a young boy appear to have a seizure when being harassed by the group whilst others have complained about young children being targeted.
It will be interesting to see how Ibiza’s lawmakers respond to these incidents and whether they will continue to hide behind the usual excuse of Spanish national law and it’s limitations whilst changing local laws to fine establishments for a whole range of minor infractions.
Ibiza is generally a very safe place however visiting tourists should be aware of these local issues. Always use a licensed taxi even if you have to wait a few extra minutes and if an African lady on the seafront tries to put something on your wrist then a firm and polite NO usually suffices.
If they continue to not take NO for an answer then threatening to call the local police will definitely do the trick. Please remember that if you agree to be bullied into paying for something you didn’t ask for and didn’t want then you become part of the problem, not the solution.