Counterfeit threat: Sharjah taxi companies say no to dollar, other foreign currencies

Sharjah: Taxi companies in Sharjah have stopped accepting foreign currencies after a spate of recent incidents in which counterfeiters posing as customers passed on fake greenbacks to pay fares.
A spokesperson for the Sharjah Public Transportation Corporation, the government body that supervises the operations of taxis in Sharjah, told XPRESS that the policy for their drivers is to accept UAE dirhams and no other currency.
However, drivers say they usually accept popular foreign currencies including euros, pounds and dollars, the last being the most popular because of the dirham’s peg against the American currency.
But cabbies have been told to refuse ‘dollars from Africans’. “A notice was put up on the notice boards at our head office a couple of months ago,” said a taxi driver.
“We have been asked to avoid accepting any foreign cash from the black people because there’s been a lot of instances of cheating involving them in recent times,” said another driver.
Ehsan from India said he was duped by a black man a few months ago. He had picked him up from Al Nahda and dropped at Jebel Ali for a fare of Dh120.
The man paid him $100 because he had no other currency. Ehsan later found that the note was fake.
“If that happens our instructions for our drivers are clear: go to the police,” Shivraj Singh Rathore, administration manager of Union Taxi, told XPRESS. But he denied having put up notices of a ‘dollar ban’.
Scores of drivers in the company maintained such notices were up even a month ago.