A woman had taken a taxi from Yokohama city to the Tottori Sand Dunes. The eight-hour drive racked up a taxi fare of JPY¥236,690 (S$3024.90), which she was unable to pay. However, it is unlikely that she will be expected to cough up the full fare.
On Jan. 17, a Japanese taxi driver picked up a female passenger at Totsuka Station in the city of Yokohama at 2:30am local time. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, requested to be driven to the Tottori Sand Dunes.
According to Google Maps, the distance between Totsuka Station and the Sand Dunes is 646km and the estimated travelling time by car ranges from eight to nine-and-a-half hours at 2:30am.
Despite the odd hour and long distance, the taxi driver did not question the woman. He also did not check if she had sufficient money to cover the hefty fare for travelling such a long distance.
Woman only had S$5 with her
Upon arrival at her destination, the taxi driver informed her of the calculated fare, JPY¥236,690 (S$3024.90). However, she claimed that she had no money on her despite carrying a few hundred yen (approximately S$5) with her.
It was clearly insufficient to cover the fare.
The driver subsequently drove the woman to the local police station where she was arrested for suspicion of fraud. In addition to not having enough money, she also did not carry any identification documents.
When the police inquired about her name and address, she claimed she did not know them. Based on her responses, she was believed to be mentally unsound. If that is the case, the taxi company is unlikely to demand compensation for the full fare.
Odd location request
Known as Tottori City's most famous tourist attraction, the Tottori Sand Dunes run roughly 16km along the coast of the Sea of Japan with a width of up to 2km and a height of 50m.
SoraNews24 notes that 2:30am falls between the last night train and the first morning train. At that hour, most of the people were looking for cabs to go home after a night out of drinking.
Thus, the taxi driver should have been more wary of the woman's intentions and ensured that she had sufficient funds before starting the journey.
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Top images via Tottori Prefectural Government Tourism and Exchange Bureau International Tourism Attraction Division and Richard Heathcote on Getty Images.