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Unlicensed fake taxi driver fined and banned following Belfast enforcement sting

An unlicensed Belfast taxi driver has been handed a £475 fine and a six-month driving ban after accruing sufficient penalty points to trigger the suspension.

Mark Burns, 50, faced multiple charges at Belfast Magistrates' Court relating to the operation of an unlicensed taxi service.

Burns was fined £75 for using an unlicensed vehicle for taxi purposes, another £75 for operating without a taxi driver’s licence, and £75 for lacking a taxi operator’s licence. The most severe penalty came from driving without insurance, for which he was fined £250 and received six penalty points.

These penalties culminated in Burns receiving a driving ban due to the accumulation of points on his licence.

The incident that led to these charges occurred on Sunday 28 May 2023. Plain clothed officers from the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) spotted Burns actively seeking passengers in a silver car along Donegal Street, Belfast. Despite the car lacking the required taxi licence plates, Burns agreed to transport the officers.

Upon completing the journey, the officers revealed their identity and conducted a formal interview. Burns's vehicle was subsequently seized.


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