December 21, 2017 / 11:47 AM / a year ago

Lebanon's interior minister accuses Uber of not checking records

Handout picture of Rebecca Dykes, who worked at the British Embassy in Beirut. The picture was supplied by her family, London, Britain, December 18, 2017. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Handout via REUTERS

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon’s interior minister said on Thursday that Uber driver suspected of murdering a British embassy worker last week had served time in prison, and he accused the company of not checking criminal records of its drivers.

The body of Rebecca Dykes was found strangled on Saturday next to a highway outside Beirut. Police detained a suspect on Monday and said the crime was not politically motivated.

Minister Nohad Machnouk said the driver had three priors on his judicial record involving drugs and had been imprisoned on that basis.

“This company, when it hires drivers, and lets them work within its organisation, does not check their priors”, he said at a news conference.

An Uber spokesperson said all drivers the company uses in Lebanon are fully licensed by the government and must have a clear judicial record.

The spokesperson said a copy of the driver’s judicial record published by local media, showing no judgments against the driver, was accurate. Uber confirmed in an email that he was a licensed taxi driver with a clean background check.

Reporting by Sarah Dadouch and Angus McDowall, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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