Cabbie scams journalist at Confed Cup

June 20, 2017
Mexico's Hector Moreno (centre) celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A match between Portugal and Mexico, at the Kazan Arena, Russia. (AP Photo)


A Chilean journalist was taken for a very expensive taxi ride during the Confederations Cup tournament in Moscow.

Diego Saez, a 38-year old journalist from Radio ADN in Chile, was scammed by the driver, who charged him 50,000 rubles around US$900 for a one-hour ride from the Domodedovo airport in southern Moscow to his hotel in the city centre after arriving from Munich.

That's 50 times the typical fare.

Tired from an overnight journey that started in Romania, where Chile played their last friendly before the Confederations Cup on Tuesday, Saez says at first he did not calculate the exchange rate when the driver told him the astronomical fare upon arrival. After paying but before exiting the car, he consulted with a Chilean colleague over the phone, who told him a more reasonable rate would be 5,000 rubles, or some US$90 and even that's very high by Moscow standards.

"I then started arguing with him (the driver) to get my money back, but he insisted on the fare," Saez said.

The driver dropped his bags in front of the hotel entrance and Saez says he took a picture of the licence plate and, with the help of the hotel manager, contacted police. He was interviewed by Russian officials until around 5 a.m., and they called him back on Friday to stop by a local police station, where they had the driver detained.

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