Cabbie slapped with fine for refusing 'smelly' foreigners
By Kim Rahn
A taxi driver has been fined for not accepting foreigners for “smelling bad.”
The Seoul Central District Court upheld a lower court ruling Sunday that acknowledged a 200,000-won fine imposed on the cabbie surnamed Koh.
“Koh refused to take a Saudi Arabian couple in their 40s as a fare only because they smelled. It is not justified to refuse passengers because they are dirty or smell different,” the court said.
In December 2010, the driver rejected the foreigners and was fined by a district office as they reported the incident. Koh claimed the couple were smelly and had a dog with them that was frothing at the mouth. He lodged the suit to annul the fine, saying he denied taking them due to sanitation issues for other passengers and his own safety.
In a separate lawsuit, another cabbie was ordered to pay a 100,000-won fine for not accepting passengers because their destination was in the opposite direction to the direction the taxi was heading.
In May last year, three passengers tried to get in the taxi around Gangnam Station in southern Seoul to get to an apartment in Songpa. The driver, Kim, wouldn’t accept them by saying they could arrive faster and pay less if they crossed the street and caught a cab from there. He was also fined following the passengers’ report.
“There is no evidence at all that the passengers agreed to take another cab after crossing the street,” the court said.