NRI taken for ride as cabbie drives away with valuables

Mar 12, 2013, 03:37 IST | Sandip Kolhatkar

A US-based Non-resident Indian (NRI) received a rude shock after the driver of his hired vehicle decamped with his valuables worth Rs 4.3 lakh when he stepped out of the vehicle to purchase eatables at a roadside shop on Sunday.

Police said that 29-year-old victim Viraj Patel, who is a distant relative of a prominent Congress Rajya Sabha MP and a political advisor to the Congress party president, was on his way back to the city after visiting Sai Baba temple in Shirdi when the incident took place. 

According to the police, Patel in his complaint said that the driver made away with his mobile phone, an iPad, US dollars and some Indian currency when they halted near Pune railway station.

“Patel, who has a business in America, had recently came to India and decided to come to Pune, as he wanted to visit the Sai Baba temple in Shirdi. He booked an SUV on Saturday and on the same day left for Shirdi. On his way back, he directed the driver to take the vehicle to Pune railway station from where he was supposed to board a train to Ahmedabad,” said Police Inspector U N Sonawane.

Patel, who is a native of Vadodara, Gujarat, then called the driver on his mobile, but the driver, who had probably already made up his mind to steal the belongings, did not answer the phone.

Patel then approached the Bund garden police station and lodged a complaint against the driver, who gave his name as Imran. Patel, however, could not remember the SUV’s registration number.

“We have registered a case against the driver under Section 379 (theft) of the IPC, and have started tracking his mobile phone, and Patel’s stolen phone,” said Sonawane. 

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