Indian Uber driver booked for abducting rider in the US

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Washington:  An Indian-origin Uber driver in the US has pleaded guilty to kidnapping a sleeping passenger and driving her over 60 miles from her destination to boost his fare.

Harbir Parmar, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping and one count of wire fraud in White Plains federal court earlier this week, prosecutors said.

The incident happened on February 21 during which a female passenger in his car riding from Manhattan to her home in White Plains fell asleep – only to awake with “Parmar’s hand under her shirt”, according to court records cited by the US media.

When the woman tried to call for help, he had grabbed her phone. She woke up only to find herself in Connecticut instead of New York.

Complaining to Uber, she discovered the trip’s destination had been changed to Boston, incurring a $1,047 fare, the New York Post reported.

Parmar was arrested in October last year. He will be sentenced in June this year and could face life imprisonment for the kidnapping offence.

He confessed to a series of ride-rigging offences, which had netted him more than $3,600 in bogus charges, officials said.

Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement that Parmar had “terrorised” his victim and would be “held accountable”.

“In addition, he charged many of his ridesharing customers with fraudulent fees. He admitted his guilt in open court, and will now be held accountable for his brazen crimes.”

An Uber spokesman told technology news website The Register: “What’s been reported is horrible and something no person should go through.

“As soon as we became aware, we immediately removed this individual’s access to the platform.”