‘Robbed’ Queenstown taxi driver arrested

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Queenstown Police have arrested a former taxi driver who claimed he’d been robbed by a passenger in the resort.

The man, 24, has been charged with theft and making a false statement to police.

While working for Queenstown Green Cabs, the man reported he’d been attacked and robbed in the early hours of February 5 by a fare and two other men who took $700 and his phone.

Police released an audio recording of a call made from the phone an hour after it was supposedly stolen.

Members of the public allegedly recognised the voice, claiming it belongs to a relative of the taxi driver.

Acting detective sergeant Matt Jones says: “This information, together with a number of consistencies in other information gathered and out-of-character behaviour by the arrested man, has led police to the conclusion that this is a false complaint.”

The man faces a third charge of causing loss by deception in connection with an unrelated matter.

He made an initial appearance in Manukau District Court this morning and was remanded on bail without plea until June 17.

Jones says police wish to thank members of the public for their assistance in bringing the man to court and the manager of the taxi company for his support with the investigation, which has tied up a considerable amount of police time and resources.

The former taxi driver, no longer employed by the firm and now unemployed, claimed he’d picked up a male fare in the CBD and driven him to Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park at about 3.15am.

When he was unable to pay the fare the driver said, he took him to Queenstown Recreation Ground to meet friends, where the driver says he was assaulted and robbed.