Colombia fines Uber more than $629,000 for obstructing regulatory visit

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s commerce regulator said on Monday it would fine ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) more than $629,000 for obstructing a regulatory visit in 2017.

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the company logo for Uber Technologies Inc. on the day of it’s IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Uber has repeatedly drawn the ire of authorities in Colombia, where use of the service is widespread but illegal.

The country has not specifically regulated transport services like Uber, but has said it will suspend for 25 years the licenses of drivers caught working for the platform.

The fine from the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce says Uber urges employees not to give information to regulators and to block access to company computers. Those policies were implemented during the October 2017 visit, the regulator said.

“The company presented a disrespectful and obstructive attitude in the face of different information requirements on the part of officials,” the regulator said in a statement.

Uber said in a statement it has not been officially informed of the fine, but would examine it once it has been.

The fine also cites three Uber staffers by name, individually fining them between $1,469 and $7,344.

The two legal staffers and one manager “collaborated and executed the obstruction of the mentioned administrative visit and the incompletion of the orders and instructions imparted by the Superintendency,” the statement said.

“It is also proven that these people gave evasive and incomplete declarations about their roles and functions inside the company, and about their knowledge of the corporate structure of Uber Colombia,” it added.

In July Colombia ordered Uber to improve its data security in reaction to a 2016 breach that compromised the data of 267,000 Colombians.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; additional reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Editing by Leslie Adler

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