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Uber, Jakarta police clash over driver arrests

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Uber has accused Jakarta police of distributing incorrect information, after the city's police force reportedly claimed it had arrested 30 drivers working for the car-hailing service.

Reuters released a report quoting a Jakarta police spokeman Mohammad Iqbal, who said that police had arrested the drivers because the car-hailing service was not legal in the Indonesian city. Iqbal told the news agency that the police taskforce was focused on traffic offenders.

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Uber and its drivers did not meet the formal requirements to operate as a public transportation service, or pay the correct taxes, the police spokesman told Reuters.

But Reuters reported that it was later told by Uber spokesman Karun Arya that no Uber drivers had been arrested.

"I want to confirm that no driver partners with Uber have been arrested in the past or today," Arya said by email. "You have been given incorrect information by the Jakarta police."

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The spokesman added, however, that was in contact with Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to address any issues related to its licence.

And on its website, the firm asked customers to sign a petition to help "save" it in Jakarta.

Uber launched in Jakarta last year and has some 6,000 drivers. Other car-hailing apps and online services such as GrabTaxi and motorbike app Go-Jek also operate in the city, where traffic congestion is notorious and public transport is lacking.