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Uber drug mules
© William Lowe |

Drive for Uber? These drivers fear they’ve been transporting drugs

Getting around town can be tricky at the best of times. Luckily, a few services are happy to ferry you to your destination. Depending on where you live, Uber might be the undisputed champion.

The company has been so successful that it launched a private delivery service two years ago. Instead of transporting people, Uber Connect offers same-day door-to-door deliveries, just like a regular courier company.

There are strict rules on what you can and can’t ship with the service, but is everyone following them? Read on to discover why some drivers think they’re being used as drug mules.

Here’s the backstory

With the height of the pandemic in 2020, Uber launched a delivery service to provide on-demand and scheduled last-mile delivery solutions. You can order or schedule a Connect delivery, just as you do for a ride.

But some Connect drivers are now fearing that they are unintentional drug mules. According to Uber’s terms and conditions, items sent for delivery must be legitimate and legal. Things that you can’t ship include alcohol, tobacco, narcotics and barbiturates.

However, drug dealers seem to believe that nobody checks the packages for contraband. Speaking to NBC, several Uber Connect drivers said they no longer feel comfortable making deliveries.

One driver explained that he had to take a grocery bag with the most random and worthless stuff from one motel to another just after midnight. If that wasn’t strange enough, inside the bag was a box about the size of two decks of cards in an excessive amount of tape.

He dropped off the package with what he described as quite a bit of dread, a sentiment that other Connect drivers echo.

What you can do about it

Even though it goes against Uber’s terms and conditions, it does put drivers in a predicament. For example, if drivers take a suspicious package to the police, the sender might get them fired if the claim is false. But if drivers go ahead with the delivery, they might be arrested for drug trafficking.

A primary concern for drivers is how they would explain handling a package full of drugs to a police officer if they get pulled over. However, Uber states that it doesn’t hold the drivers responsible for the delivery content. Try telling that to the authorities.

So, what should you do as an Uber Connect driver? The best advice will be to cancel the delivery if it doesn’t appear legit. Uber’s fine print warns users that a driver may cancel the request if it violates any rules.

If you are confident there is a high probability of drugs inside a package, you should take it to a police station. Law enforcement has several non-invasive techniques for detecting drugs.

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