The Buenos Aires City government has taken an important step in its crusade to take Uber out from its streets. During a raid conducted on the offices of the company that handles its finances and pays its drivers, Payment Collection SRL, the City got a hold of information concerning the ride-sharing app’s 3,978 drivers operating in the city, as well as the company’s financial information. This will allow the prosecutor’s office dealing with the case to open judicial fronts against both drivers and executives.
How it can now go after drivers
The prosecutor’s office legal position claims that drivers are violating articles 74 and 83 of the City’s misdemeanor code — exceeding the limits of their driver’s licenses and conducting lucrative operations in public space without authorization — and that could translate into 10 days in prison if found guilty.
When consulted in an interview whether those charged could actually go to prison, prosecutor in the case Martín Lapadú said “absolutely” — “It will be up to the judge, but the law makes it legally possible,” he argued. Lapadú went on to say his office will dedicate the next months to bringing drivers to justice.
How it can now go after executives
The prosecutor said that, after analyzing the company’s financial information, his office determined there’s enough evidence to accuse them of tax evasion. They could get up to six years in prison if found guilty
Uber was declared illegal by the City’s judiciary on April 22 for continuously breaking the mentioned article 83 of the misdemeanor code.
When consulted by La Nación about how they would face the situation, an Uber spokesperson said the company “reiterates its absolute support for the associate drivers and its commitment to continue providing safe and reliable rides to users.” The spokesperson also said Uber is willing to continue looking for “dialogue spaces” with City authorities in order to find alternatives to its regulation.
However, it seems like City representatives are not willing to find these alternatives: “Uber is breaking the law and we can’t allow it to be a business,” said the City’s Transportation Secretary, Juan José Méndez.
The app is still active at the time of the article is being written.