I signed a taxicab confession

My first post- You have to start somewhere. I was in Rome over the last week and I did something I would never let my clients do; I signed a confession, of sorts.

In Rome it is illegal for a taxi driver to ask if you want a cab in the airport. You, the passenger, have to ask the cabbie, but you can only ask in a special pre determined “zone”.

When my wife and I left the plane at the Rome Airport we were approached by a man asking if we needed a cab. We said yes. He quoted us a price, 75 euros, and we agreed.
Instantly we were approached by the Millitary Police (carrying machine guns no less), and asked what had happened.

We explained, thinking nothing was wrong. We were taken (very politely) to a back room and told we could leave after I signed a statement detaling the crime.

I, wanting to leave, and not being informed of any 5th Amendment rights in Italy, quickly signed to get on with my day.

I realize now why some people falsely confess, and even plead guilty in court. I have clients who want to “get this case over with”, or after hours of interrogation just tell the police what they want to hear. Police have a saying “you can beat the wrap but you can’t beat the ride”. I couldn’t stand a “ride” of 20 minutes. Criminal cases take months if not a year or longer.

So I signed. I didn’t consider myself and victim and I didn’t want to sign anything. I wanted to go take a shower after 16 hours of travel.

This is also disturbing on many other levels. How can it be a crime? it’s business, between adults. I wanted a cab and he offered one. And, it took two police officers 20 minutes to handle this “crime”. Shouldn’t they be guarding the airport?

Victimless crimes shouldn’t exist. I was informed that the maximum price for a cab was 40 Euro. I guess the police were trying to “protect” me from overpaying.

Armed with this information- I went to the cab stand and asked for my 40 Euro cab ride. I told them the police said it was the law. The cabbie said “Let the police drive you to Rome”.

We ended up paying 70 Euro for the next cab.

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