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  • The augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo is shown on a smartphone screen in this photo illustration taken in Palm Springs, California U.S. July 11, 2016.

    The augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo is shown on a smartphone screen in this photo illustration taken in Palm Springs, California U.S. July 11, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

A cab driver from the state of Veracruz drives customers throughout his city to help them “hunt” Pokemon on a popular new app.

A taxi driver in Mexico has found a clever way to gain new customers, he's jumped on the Pokemon GO craze sweeping the world by driving customers around in search of the augmented reality game’s target creatures.

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To play the augmented reality mobile phone game players must physically walk or drive around in the real world to capture Pokemon creatures.

Emilio Cacho, a 29-year-old cab driver from the city of Minatitlan in the eastern state of Veracruz, said he has received more than 20 calls since he began offering services as a “Pokemon hunter” at the start of the week.

“I didn’t know about the game, but I heard a lot of talk about people going out to look for Pokemon, so I thought it was a good way to make money, now that the economic situation in Veracruz is so difficult,” he told Reuters by telephone.

He charges US$7.04 for the first hour to pursue the digital creatures, and slightly less for each subsequent hour, he said.

Cacho has even started referring to his cab as a “Poketaxi.”

“I don't play, I don't even know how to play, but I downloaded the app to help my clients,” said Cacho.

The game is not yet available in Mexico, but some users have worked out how to access the game.

The mobile phone game has become an instant hit with more users in the United States than Twitter a week after launch.

Players are spending longer on the application than they do with some of the most popular social platforms such as Instagram or WhatsApp.

The game has also helped the game's publisher, Nintendo, improve its bottom line.

The game is not without critics, however. An Egyptian official said the game could constitute a national security threat. Similar fears have been raised by citizens in China.

The game is linked to the In-Q-Tel venture capital firm, which is closely tied to the U.S. intelligence community.

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