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Beware the 'pirate' cabby: Oslo police

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10:27 CET+01:00
Get into a “pirate taxi” and you're taking your life into your own hands, Oslo police are warning those looking for a fast trip home from a night on the town.

The drivers of 17 of 19 pirate taxis reported to police in 2010 already had serious criminal backgrounds.

“They’ve been reported for violence, sexual assault and robbery,” said Oslo Police traffic boss and night patrolman, Øystein Laegdene, to broadcaster NRK.

Many a newcomer to Norway has blindly followed Norwegian friends into a pirate — or unmarked and unregistered — car understood to be a taxi substitute for those not wanting to brave half-hour line-ups in the biting cold.

Among the 53 reported rapes in this year’s sexual assault wave in Oslo, police say three are connected to pirate taxis.

“One takes a big risk,” Laegdene said, adding, “I’m pretty surprised people dare expose themselves to it.”

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