Taxi drivers have for years paid thousands of euros for the lucrative privilege of operating from Schiphol airport, the NRC revealed at the weekend.
The paper based its allegation on emails, documents and recordings of interviews with over 60 taxi drivers.
The three companies at the heart of the probe are Schiphol Taxi, BIOS Group and Schiphol Service which together won the only taxi concession still in operation after the liberalisation of the taxi business in 2000. All deny any wrongdoing.
Schiphol Taxi, headed by Gamis el Bouakili who for years combined the directorship of Schiphol Taxi with a job as senior police officer, allegedly demanded €5,000 euros from drivers for the chance to pick up customers at Schiphol.
One driver working for BIOS Group claimed he paid as much as €15,000 in order to drive a taxi bus for the company.
The handover of the money took place in the streets to frontmen of the companies somewhere in Amsterdam West, the drivers said.
According to the drivers, despite numerous reports and complaints, police and the tax office never took action.
The military police who are charge of security at the airport, told the paper that the matter was ‘worrying’ and that it will initiate an investigation into the claims together with the public prosecutor’s office.
El Bouakili, who told the paper he would cooperate fully with the investigation, said the accusations came from ‘discontented drivers out for revenge’.
He also said the €5,000 cited by some drivers was for ‘goodwill’ and a first payment for a Tesla car bought via the company. El Bouakili also claimed he wasn’t fired by the police but stepped down voluntarily.
A Schiphol spokesperson said the airport is taking the paper’s findings seriously and will cooperate in the probe. It said the concession system was necessary for Schiphol to fulfill its legal obligation to regulate taxi traffic at the airport.
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