Two Uber France managers were taken into custody on Monday, according to Agence France-Presse. The arrests come days after French cabbies violently protested the ride-sharing service by blocking off major thoroughfares in Paris and attacking Uber drivers.
Uber France CEO Thibaud Simphal and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, the general manager of Uber’s Western Europe division, were charged for “illegal taxi operations” and for “concealing digital documents”, TechCrunch reports. An Uber spokesperson confirmed the following to TechCrunch: “Our CEO for France and our general manager for Western Europe were invited to an interview by the police this afternoon; following this interview, they were taken into custody.”
UberPOP, the European version of UberX, has continued to operate in France since its launch last year, despite being banned back in January. French taxi drivers have long considered UberPOP unfair competition, since its drivers are not required to undergo the same training or pay the licensing and insurance fees that cabbies are subjected to. In response to last week’s protests, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve demanded that police crack down on UberPOP immediately, and 200 additional officers were recruited to lead the charge.
The arrests of Simphal and Gore-Coty don’t appear to be a result of the recent protests–though they likely put pressure on authorities to quash Uber’s presence in France. After UberPOP was banned in January, an appeals court determined that Uber could keep running until a new decision is made in September. According to TechCrunch, Simphal also told reporters last week that UberPOP would carry on until a court order dictated otherwise.