A NEWPORT taxi driver has been fined £600 and ordered to pay £925.60 for illegally plying for hire as part of the councils ongoing efforts to tackle the problem in the city.

Taxi driver Farruk Ahman Malik, aged 39, of Argyle Street, Newport, was prosecuted by the council for illegally plying for hire, not having insurance and for obstructing an officer of the council, after licensing officers witnessed a party of four people come out of the railway station who were looking for a cab on November 2, 2013.

The group walked over to a private hire car parked on the Queensway and were heard asking the driver to take them to Cwmbran before getting into the vehicle.

Malik pleaded not guilty to six offences at Newport magistrates court but was convicted following an all-day trial.

The driver, who had a previous conviction for illegally plying for hire in 2009, was fined a total of £600, ordered to pay the council costs of £925.50 and a victim surcharge of £30.

He was also disqualified from driving for six months.

This comes as the council cracks down on drivers illegally plying for hire as the law states that only black hackney carriages (“London-style” cabs) are allowed to pick up passengers without being pre-booked.

As well as private hire cabs not being allowed to ply for hire, they are also not insured if they do so.