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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Uber driver, aides rob man at knifepoint after offering a ride, arrested

They allegedly robbed an accountant Kaushal Kumar Sharma of his laptop, mobile and other belongings after offering him a shared ride from Okhla to Badarpur.

delhi Updated: Jan 31, 2018 22:56 IST
Shubhomoy Sikdar
Shubhomoy Sikdar
HIndustan Times
The alleged robbers in police custody.
The alleged robbers in police custody.

Delhi Police arrested three men, including a 23-year-old Uber driver for allegedly abducting and robbing a passenger at knifepoint after offering him a shared ride in his cab on Wednesday.

On January 19, the arrested driver Rehan Khan and his accomplices Ranjan Singh, 21, and Ravi Shankar Sharma, 18, allegedly robbed an accountant Kaushal Kumar Sharma of his laptop, mobile and other belongings after offering him a shared ride from Okhla to Badarpur, police said.

“Sharma and Singh acted as decoy passengers, who told Kaushal that they were also headed in the same direction as him and offered to split the fare. The victim was lured by the prospect of a cheaper ride at a time when few alternatives were available and boarded the cab around 8.15 pm from Okhla Phase I,” said deputy commissioner of police (southeast) Chinmoy Biswal. The victim did not book the cab using the app and the driver was off-duty.

“After driving for a distance of 200-300 metres, Kaushal was overpowered at knifepoint by fellow passengers as Khan steered the vehicle towards Malviya Nagar. They threatened Kaushal to sit quietly or they would kill him if he resisted,” Biswal added.

Inside the car, the accused allegedly took Kaushal’s laptop, his phone, an ATM card and Rs. 4,650 from the complainant.

The three men allegedly took Kaushal to an ATM booth in Malviya Nagar to withdraw cash, but he inserted wrong PIN due to which money couldn’t be withdrawn.

“The accused were angry at this and they even assaulted Kaushal. After this, they dropped him at G-Block in Saket and fled”, police said.

The victim made a call to the police control room by borrowing the phone of a passerby.

“Kaushal said the car was a WagonR and somewhat remembered the registration number. This, however, was not found to be the same car and we traced all the cars with registration numbers having the same four digits as provided by Kaushal. We finally zeroed in on a car with a registration number DL-1RTB-3137 and owned by one Naveen Jha,” said Biswal.

Jha told the police that he had hired a driver named Rehan Khan and after obtaining an NOC from Jha, Khan registered himself as an Uber cab driver.

“We arrested Khan from Okhla Mandi earlier this week. After questioning about his aides, raids were conducted at Om Nagar and Jaitpur from where Singh and Sharma were arrested. The belongings of the victim and a part of the robbed cash was also recovered. The cab was found to be registered with Uber but did not have any sticker on it,” said Biswal.

During questioning, Khan disclosed that he and his accomplices used to rob passengers waiting for auto-rickshaws and buses during late evening hours by picking them from crowded places like Lajpat Nagar, Ashram, Kalkaji, Govindpuri and Madangir.

“In Khan’s mobile, we have found Uber app installed and a complete record of the trips he has run. After ferrying Uber passengers during the day time, he would switch off the app and use the vehicle for robberies. We are trying to find out if he has carried out more such crimes in the past,” said Biswal.

Responding to an email query, Uber confirmed that the driver was registered with them and has been removed.

“Upon learning about the incident, we immediately removed the driver’s access to the app as this behaviour is completely against our community guidelines. We stand ready to assist the law-enforcement authorities in their investigation in any way we can,” said an Uber spokesperson.

First Published: Jan 31, 2018 22:55 IST

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