A random check on an ageing Peugeot 306 led to the discovery that its driver was an 83-year-old woman who had no driving licence and was running her own taxi business.

"/> A random check on an ageing Peugeot 306 led to the discovery that its driver was an 83-year-old woman who had no driving licence and was running her own taxi business.

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83-year-old woman drove taxi without licence

A random check on an ageing Peugeot 306 led to the discovery that its driver was an 83-year-old woman who had no driving licence and was running her own taxi business.

The entrepreneurial pensioner was caught out in Sucy-en-Brie, south-west of Paris, when police officers stopped her car on Tuesday morning. 

Standard checks on the woman’s licence led to the discovery that it had been cancelled in 2006. Her permit to drive a taxi had run out in 2008, meaning she had been ferrying passengers without either for three years.

The woman owns the taxi business herself and has a total of four cars, according to the report in Aujourd’hui.

The woman could face stiff penalties. Driving without a licence carries a fine of €4,500 ($6,200) and up to two years in prison and illegal driving of a taxi can carry a further year in prison and a fine of €15,000.

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France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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