Munich brothel cries foul over Oktoberfest taxi driver bribes
Published: 16 Sep 2010 14:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Sep 2010 14:58 GMT+02:00
Upscale Munich brothel Pascha complained this week that its competitors are stifling business during the lucrative Oktoberfest season by paying taxi drivers large sums to bring customers to their establishments instead.
The well-known eastern Munich bordello told Bavarian daily tz on Thursday that taxi drivers are paid up to €120 for every ‘John’ they bring to their rivals during the annual autumn beer festival, when hundreds of thousands of visitors are in town for a good time.
A statement posted on Pascha’s website reads: “Attention Gentlemen – be aware that your taxi driver is NOT your friend! Therefore he does not recommend you to the ‘best club,’ but sells you to the highest paying club!”
Club manager Leo E. told the paper that Pascha had conducted its own research on the problem in 2009, going on 200 test rides. Half of the taxi drivers encouraged the investigators to go to other clubs, he said.
“They did it by suggesting that we would soon be raided, that our girls were the ugliest in town or that we’d even shut down completely. It’s slander!” he told the paper.
While Pascha tried to keep up with the bounty-war, it can no longer afford to continue making such high payments, Leo E. said.
“As the price per head spirals out of control, we can’t stay in the race,” he said.
Reinhard Zielienski, manager of Taxi-München eG, the Bavarian capital’s largest taxi pool, told the paper that he could not confirm such payments were made to drivers, but also admitted he could not rule them out either.
But in the company’s newsletter in 2008, boss Hans Meißner acknowledged the practice, calling it “downright criminal,” and revealing a tally from February 9th of that year. According to Meißner, that night 68 taxis drove with 90 guests to a sex club, at which 75 guests stayed.
“It’s common knowledge that drivers are paid around €120 per guest, which makes €9000 in total,” he wrote.
Despite the stiff competition, on its website Pascha urged its customers to, “Stay determined if you want to come to us, because we offer you a satisfaction guarantee.”
Munich's Oktoberfest runs from September 18 until October 4 this year. A special historical area offering old carousels, special beer and other attractions will open one day earlier for the 200th anniversary celebrations.