Uber continues to attract controversy and face legal messes across the globe, and the most recent reports from Paris signal no end to the ride-sharing app’s speed bumps.
Police in the French capital reportedly raided Uber offices this week, local media said. The searches led to Uber documents and smartphones being seized by the authorities after they served UberPOP with a warrant. The service has been banned in France since the start of the year, but reports say the app is still accessible by consumers.
More than 20 police reportedly took part in the raid of Uber’s headquarters in Paris.
Uber publicly denounced the searches. “We see in this raid a disproportionate action, carried out on shaky legal grounds,” said Uber France general manager Thibaud Simphal in a statement to French newspaper Le Nouvel Observateur.
The raid follows legislation that bans drivers for Uber or any service from carrying passengers unless they are licensed to do so and are insured for such a business. Uber has appealed the rules to the European Commission, but reports say Uber drivers have been issued fines since the law went into effect on Jan. 1. FranceInfo reports say 250 drivers have been penalized.
Uber’s UberPOP service has faced legal scrutiny in Europe before. The operation currently runs at a no-profit rate in Germany and Belgium, reports said, instead of the traditional 20 percent cut taken by Uber. An appeals court in the Netherlands upheld a ban against UberPOP last December and supported rules that allow fines for Uber drivers. Uber plans to appeal that decision yet again.
Abroad, the corporation is facing similar legal challenges in the U.S., Toronto and Southeast Asia based on a variety of issues, including driver insurance, misleading marketing, and a lack of driver background checks.