Commander Ian Lafreniere said the two men are believed to have robbed 157 passengers by draining their bank accounts. More victims may never have come forward
Police arrested the pair Wednesday morning after conducting raids in Montreal and Laval. They are due in court Thursday to face charges of conspiracy, fraud and theft.
Police said the 30 and 33-year-old suspects had previous run-ins with the law, and that one of them did not have a driver's licence, while the other had lost his taxi driving validation within the past year.
Constable Laurent Gingras said the force knew about the crime after getting complaints, but needed time to track down the two men accused.
"We know there is a fraud being committed but we need to locate these two individuals," said Gingras.
"With the help from the public, with the complaints being filed, we were able slowly but surely to get a lead on these suspects and to arrest them."
Earlier this week one victim told CTV News how he was robbed.
Matt MacKinnon said he hailed a cab on Saturday evening at the corner of St. Laurent Blvd. and Sherbrooke St. for a short trip to the Palais des Congres.
Upon arrival the driver insisted on being paid by debit card, but then said the charge on his portable machine was low, and got another driver to 'lend' him a machine.
"One of his co-workers was in the area and had a charger for it," said MacKinnon. "He pulled over, the guy popped his head in and just pulled out what seemed like a simple plug to a debit machine."
Mackinnon paid and the driver then handed Mackinnon back a card.
It was only hours later that MacKinnon realized that the card was not his, and by that time the thieves had been to two ATMs and withdrawn hundreds of dollars from his bank account.
All MacKinnon had was a fake receipt from Diamond Taxi.
The cab company says it became aware three weeks ago that it was being used as a cover for a fraud artist.
"It's very easy to get these receipts, so my guess is that someone uses our receipt in order to make fraud," said Dominique Roy, president of Diamond Taxi.
Roy also said it was very suspicious for any driver not to accept cash.
Police said the fraudulent drivers were using legitimate taxis, and were renting them second- or third-hand from legitimate companies.