Polish police arrest illegal migrants working for ride-share apps in Warsaw

In a targeted operation, Warsaw’s Border Guard and police officers detained several foreign nationals illegally residing in Poland while working as drivers for popular ride-sharing apps

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: kresy.pl
(AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

In a recent sweep targeting ride-share services, Polish Border Guard officers and local police in Warsaw apprehended foreign drivers who were illegally residing in Poland.  On Tuesday, officials from the Warsaw Border Guard Station detained three men found to be living illegally in Poland.

The operation, conducted in collaboration with city police, aimed to verify the legal status of foreign nationals in the country, particularly those engaged in app-based transportation services.

According to the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, the crackdown took place near the Chopin Airport terminal and the Central Railway Station in Warsaw. The authorities arrested three foreign nationals — two from Georgia and one from Turkey. These individuals were employed as drivers by a company providing ride-share services through a widely used mobile app, and none of the men had documents permitting legal residence in Poland.

Additionally, one of the Georgian nationals had been flagged in the Schengen Information System (SIS) by the Czech Republic, barring his entry into the Schengen Area for three years following a negative decision in his work permit application process.

Despite being deported to Georgia, this individual changed his surname to his wife’s, obtained a new travel document, and re-entered the Schengen Area, circumventing legal restrictions. The other Georgian had remained in Poland despite being denied temporary residence twice by the provincial governor.

The Turkish national, apart from his illegal residency status, had also crossed the state border from Germany to Poland in violation of the law.

In May 2022, the news outlet Kresy.pl reported a series of sexual assaults on young women who were using Warsaw’s app-based “taxis.” Drivers of various nationalities, including Georgians, Uzbeks, and Tajiks working for Uber and Bolt, were accused of sexually assaulting female passengers.

Out of 79 registered sexual assaults in Warsaw, 11 involved foreign taxi drivers from Uber and Bolt taking women to remote locations and assaulting or molesting them.

Several such incidents were also recorded last year. The actual number of assaults could be higher, as victims often do not report these crimes.

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