Argentine Judge Orders Arrest Of Local Uber Executives, Shut Down Of Uber Mobile App

While Uber is dealing with fallout from its response to Trump's Friday immigration order, when it tweeted it would pause surge pricing, which was taken as a form of "strike breaking," whilst simultaneously profiting off the situation, and its actions were seen as seeking to grab market share from striking taxi drivers, leading to a #DeleteUber meme spreading across social networks, it has a more tangible problem in Argentina, where Buenos Aires prosecutor Martin Lapadi moments ago requested the arrest of local Uber executives, and ordered the shut down of the company's mobile application.

As a reminder, Uber has been operating since mid-April without a permit or tax-identification number, which has led to numerous lawsuits by taxi unions. City officials have issued multiple injunctions attempting to bring its service to a halt. And credit card companies have been blocked from processing Uber payments on locally registered cards. The ride-hailing company even went as far as working with bitcoin startup Xapo to circumvent the credit card roadblock, one of its more pressing barriers to service in Argentina.

However, even that loophole now appears to be closed.  As Noticias reports, the arrest warrant targets Uber execs Diego Mariano Oliveira, general manager of UBER Argentina, and Mariano Otero, the local CEO of the company. The Argentine newspaper adds that arrest warrants are based on the fact that Uber executives never ceased their infringements but ignored judicial orders, continuing the company's illegal activity.

More details, google translated:

According to the prosecutor, 9 months ago, company executives violated the imposed closure and continue to abuse public space. Both contraventions sanctioned in articles 73 and 83 of the Code Contravencional, and that cause a serious danger for the health and security of the people.


As a result of this request of the prosecutor Lapadú, the CEO, Mariano Javier Otero, and the Manager Diego Oliveira were present at the Office of the Attorney-in-Chief, who joined the defense attorney who, beyond the secret of the summary Which weighs on the case, had presented an exemption of prison for their defendants just the day after the request of the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor's Office took their data in order to cite them for their corresponding investigation statement.


In addition, Lapadú requested the closure / preventive blockade of the website and the application UBER arranged on April 22, 2016, by the Criminal Court of Misdemeanor and Misdemeanor No. 16, extended to the entire national territory and Judge Maria Fernanda Botana did Place for the companies that give Internet services block the page and the application of UBER Argentina.


The block request was requested because during the investigation, the West Prosecutor's Office was able to verify that there are risks to preserve evidence extremely important for the research. It could be known that the UBER firm has the ability to alter or remotely erase through its application the records of the partners of the company, and that situation represents a risk for the test, so the total block would allow a much more effective safeguard of that.

While in the U.S. Uber's solution to the public backlash was to "donate" $3 million to a legal fund for impacted drivers, as well as provide legal assistance and compensate their lost wages, it is unclear if the company will undertake a similar approach in which the ridesharing firm unveils a $3 million "fund" to alleviate the burden on local prosecutors.