Gang members are using an underground taxi service to fly under the radar of police and rival thugs.

Gangsters whose vehicles are well known to cops are attempting to go incognito by using taxis.

Some unsuspecting cabbies claim they have been used by dealers to make pick-ups at known drug haunts.

Many say they are simply refusing to go into some neighbourhoods at certain times of night.

But other 'rogue' drivers are acting as personal chauffeurs to known gang members.

Honest cabbies now fear their profession is becoming the "most dangerous in Bermuda" as gun crime spirals out of control.

In the latest incident, Jakai Harford, 27, was shot twice in the face as he sat in the back of a cab outside a home in Mission Lane, just after 4am on Saturday. Amazingly Mr Harford survived the shooting.

Police say the attempt on his life was almost an exact replica of the December killing of his brother Kumi Harford, who was gunned down behind the wheel of his blue Mazda in the same Pembroke neighbourhood.

There have been five gun murders and more than 50 shootings since the beginning of December last year and cabbies fear they could get caught in the cross-fire.

One taxi driver told us he had stopped taking fares after midnight amid fears of being robbed.

He also said there were some passengers he would simply not pick up because of concerns that they have targets on their backs.

He added: "I have to say there are some rogue drivers out there as well who are giving us a bad reputation. There are certain customers who don't want to be seen going into these drug haunts so they find a taxi driver that is willing to take them there."

A police source confirmed that cops are aware that some gang members are using cabs or private drivers in an effort to avoid stop and search patrols.

Many gang members, said the source, are aware that police and rival thugs are looking for them and use drivers to give them an extra level of anonymity.

He said several known thugs had one or two drivers who were willing to ferry them around.

Many legitimate taxi drivers also find themselves unwittingly used for the same purpose.

"I've had this kind of job pushed on me a couple of times," said one driver.

"They ask to be dropped off somewhere and you realize they are picking up a drug supply.

"Sometimes they will come out of one of the hotels in the city and ask for a cab up to Somerset. Then they want you to stop and wait at all these places along the way.

"You know they are probably dropping off drugs, but what are you supposed to do?

"Sometimes I just drive away without waiting for the fare."

One 70-year-old cabbie who took a fare to Middletown suffered the embarrassment of having his car searched by cops who spotted him coming out of a known drug area.

"The passenger did a runner, but he gets embarrassed in front of everybody as they search his car for drugs.

"A lot of us are just refusing jobs. If you're concerned about your safety or your reputation you should be able to refuse the job."

It is not always easy to tell which jobs to steer clear of.

The same cabbie said he had once picked up a man and his four children from the Botanical Gardens only to be told to drive to an area of Middletown, where the passenger made a stop to make threats to another man over drug money.