Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tourist Suffers Terror Ride in Taxi

I READ “Ensure Cabbies are friendly, polite and responsible” (StarMetro, Dec 7) with some interest in the light of an experience recently suffered by a visiting friend.

A few weeks ago, she took a taxi, hailed on the street from the KLCC area, to Jalan Sultan. The normal fare for this trip would be around RM6 but the meter showed a fare of RM49, which the driver demanded.

When the lady remonstrated with him about this and offered to pay RM15, he became aggressive, started shouting and threatened to go to the police. As my friend knew the correct fare she had no concerns about involving the police, and said so.

At this point the matter took a sinister turn, the driver, no doubt realising that this passenger was not going to give in to his bullying, decided to take drastic action.

He drove off at high speed, ending up on the Federal Highway where, despite the now frantic requests of his passenger, he refused to stop, not even when she opened the passenger window and started waving at other vehicles in order to attract their attention.

Eventually she prevailed, but only when she agreed to pay a fare now totalling RM70.

She was left by the roadside near Shah Alam and was fortunate to manage to hail another taxi that took her safely back to her hotel.

We can only speculate what might have happened had she not finally given in, but I would suspect she is extremely lucky to be unharmed.

Needless to say, she was extremely upset and shaken by this experience, to such an extent that when pressed by friends to file a police report, she refused, saying she just wanted to forget the event.

However, the matter is very serious and clearly involves criminal acts. Extortion of money under duress and kidnap come to mind.

It seems to me that this is not the first time this person had carried out this sort of action, and would likely do the same again in the future.

Source : STAR
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