Thursday, March 03, 2022

Touts force Swede & mom into cab at Mumbai airport, arrested

Mumbai: Four touts were recently arrested at the city international airport for forcing a Swedish man and his mother who had already booked an aggregator cab into a taxi of their choice and even engaging in a scuffle with the man when they resisted.

Police stepped in after receiving an SOS from Airport Security Secure 1, assigned for passenger security at Terminal 2. The touts have been identified as Mohammed Khan (38), Naushad Shaikh (33), D Y Aashish (28) and Mustak Shaikh (41). They were released on bail on a Rs 15,000 bond.

Sweden’s Danny Patrick Back (29) and his mother Liz Marie Anna Eleonora Doverdal (53) were to travel to Pune from the airport on February 23 for Danny’s wedding with an Indian woman on March 14.

They were cornered by the touts at the cab pickup point. The touts initially threatened them on learning they had booked the aggregator cab. “This is the first time that cab drivers have fought with us. They followed us and forced us inside their cab even though we informed them that we had booked an aggregator cab. They even engaged in a scuffle with my son. They said they can provide a taxi at a cheap fare. We refused the ride as the airport security had alerted us about the touts who are into fleecing passengers,” Doverdal told TOI.

Doverdal said they were relieved when Sahar police arrived and gave them water and tea and offered to drop them to a nearby hotel in a police vehicle. “On one hand it was a scary situation but it ended on a happier note after the airport security and Sahar police helped us. It is worth remembering that Mumbai police were really helpful and offered us chai (tea), water, greeted us with flowers, and even provided a vehicle to drop us at the hotel. The hotel management was shocked to see us step out of a police vehicle. We left for Pune the next day,” she told TOI.

Airport security Secure 1 promoter Ashwin More has warned flyers about three types of touts—taxi, auto and hotel. Since the new DCP (Zone VIII) D S Swamy and Sahar police senior inspector Sanjay Govilkar took charge this year, they have managed to keep a check on these touts and have so far registered 10 such cases.

03/03/22 Narayan Namboodiri/Times 

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