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Khaleej Times

DUBAI, Sep 6: Be careful when you take a ride in an illegal taxi to save a few dirhams. An African gang has allegedly robbed a number of people in Dubai after offering to take them to their destinations.

Jude Sathish Kumar, an Indian working with the DK Gulf Company, was mugged by the fraudsters. “I was waiting at a bus stop near the Safa Park on my way to Al Quoz last Thursday when a private car stopped  and offered me a trip for Dh 5. Three Africans were sitting inside the car. They drove me to a remote area  pretending that they were going to drop one of them there,” he said. “One of them got out of the car and walked away. But he rushed back to the car saying he had lost Dh 10,000.  He wanted to check everybody in the car. They took my purse away and stole Dh500. Later, they pulled me out of the car and beat me up.”

He said that he draws a salary of only Dh1,000 per month and sends Dh 500 to his family in India. “They have left me with no money to survive through the month,” he said, adding he did not lodge any complaint with the  police because he opted for an illegal taxi.

Salim, another Indian, was allegedly mugged a month ago in a similar manner while he was waiting for a taxi near the Iranian Hospital. “I had to give up my watch and Dh 200 after I took an illegal taxi operated by an African,” said Salim. “There were three people in the car and they took me to a remote place near Bur Dubai. One of them then said that he had lost his money after which they took away my wrist watch and the money pretending that they were frisking me.”

Muhammed, who works in a mobile shop in Dubai, also had a similar experience after he took an illegal taxi from Deira. “The gang stole Dh 900 from me. While I tried to stop them from taking money from my wallet, they beat me up,” he said.

A police officer at the Criminal Search Department of the Dubai Police has asked the  victims to officially inform the law-enforcement authority to enable it nab the gang.

The officer said even though the victims had made a mistake by getting into these cars, not reporting the matter to the police was a mistake. He added that if such crimes were not reported to the police, these would pose serious threats to law and order.


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