An Australian family in Bali were on the spot to save a couple of tourists allegedly being held by a taxi driver over an inflated fare.
“It all happened very fast,” Shenae Balliana told Yahoo News Australia.
While out to dinner with her family on Thursday night (local time) Ms Balliana said she heard yelling coming from a taxi pulled over on the side of the road near Garlic Lane in Legian.
When Ms Balliana and her family tried opening the doors of the taxi, they realised the doors were locked and she said the driver was trying to extort the terrified tourists inside.
“We asked the passengers how long they had drove for and how much he was asking for,” Ms Balliana said
She said the driver was demanding $100 for a three to five minute ride. Ms Balliana claims the fare should “normally cost no more than $5.”
When the driver started to become irate “swearing, yelling and punching the seats”, Ms Balliana said she acted quickly, reaching through the open front window and grabbing the drivers mobile phone.
After arguing with the driver to let the couple go, using the phone as leverage, Ms Balliana said one of the passengers managed to escape through a window and helped the other out.
“The couple was very upset,” Ms Balliana posted in the Bali Bogans Facebook page.
“I gave his phone back and he drove off yelling ‘f*** you;” she said, adding that they reported the matter to police.
The Aussie woman warned others she had seen similar experiences before and warned all in the Bali group to make sure they paid attention to their next taxi ride.
“Please make sure you get in a taxi thats a Blue bird or a taxi with a meter in it.” she said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs advises all travellers that when using taxis overseas to only use official licensed taxis or reputable ride sharing services.
Travellers should only use ride sharing services if they are “booked via phone, app or at a major hotel or from inside airports.” the smart traveller website states.
They also warn not to share taxis with strangers and to be wary of approaches at airport by ‘private drivers’ as extortion and robbery can occur in unauthorised taxis.
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