THE MUMBAI Police has summoned officials of cab aggregator Ola in connection with an alleged fraud that it busted earlier in the month with the arrest of three Ola drivers for allegedly manipulating the app in a manner that calculated more distance.
According to police, over 40 other cab drivers were also involved in the fraud. An officer from the Crime Branch (Unit I) said police had summoned Ola officials to join the investigation much earlier, but they had not appeared as yet.
“We were informed by Ola officials that due to the Covid lockdown, their offices in Maharashtra were shut. They have now told us that officials from Bengaluru will appear before the Crime Branch in a day or two,” the officer said.
Police said out of the three drivers arrested in the case, one of them, a former driver with the cab aggregator, gave outdated Ola apps to cab drivers who used them to cheat people. “Maybe, he found a glitch in the system while driving around or someone else informed him about it,” the officer said.
During the course of the interrogation of the former driver and two others arrested on November 1, police found names of 40 other cab drivers who were given the apps. “We traced them, but news of the arrest of the trio leaked, so some deleted the apps, others destroyed their mobile phones while some stopped driving altogether. We have recorded their statements and will likely make them witnesses in the case,” the officer added.
The accused would park outside the airport and only take long-distance rides, and during the course of the drive would switch the app on and off in a manner that it added nearly 20 km to the ride, thereby increasing the fare, police said.
Last week, a sessions court rejected the bail plea of the former driver on grounds that the trio’s arrest was just the “tip of the iceberg”.
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