Ride-hailing service Careem is in hot water after two separate incidents of robbery and attempted kidnapping allegedly by its captains were reported on social media in the last 24 hours.
On Wednesday, a female customer, Syeda Alina Saeed, narrated her ordeal on Facebook, saying that she had escaped a kidnapping attempt by a Careem captain on Sept 24 near Korangi Creek, Karachi. Saeed claimed that the driver continued towards the deserted road of Korangi Creek despite her protests and started throwing things at her.
She managed to get out of the car after pulling the handbrake, which slowed down the car and distracted the driver. However, the captain followed her out and tried to attack her physically, which resulted in bruises on her arms. After some cars stopped to inquire about the incident, the driver claimed that the woman had not paid the fare, said Saeed in her post.
Following the incident, Saeed posted screenshots of an email exchange with Careem in which she mentioned the details of the attempted kidnapping as well as the driver. The company, replying to her email, assured Saeed that the captain was no longer working with the cab-hailing service. Saeed in her post said that she would lodge a first information report (FIR) of the incident.
A few hours after the report appeared on Dawn.com, a statement was issued by Careem saying that the company had held an "internal review" and added that "a subsequent investigation request [had] also been filed with the police".
The spokesperson further said that Saeed had registered an FIR and assured that Careem would cooperate by "providing all necessary information for [a smooth] investigation".
A second complaint appeared on a Facebook group Soul Sisters Pakistan on Thursday by a member who posted on behalf of her friend — who claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint by one of the company's driver a day earlier.
According to the post, the victim had booked a ride on Wednesday evening and was driven to a sparsely populated area where the Careem captain allegedly robbed her at gunpoint.
"He took all her cash and snatched her phone ‘deleted’ the Careem app [...] and returned the phone back to her," the post read, adding that the incident took place in DHA. The user claimed that the captain then dropped her friend off at her destination. The post, however, did not mention if the customer had informed the police about the incident. The post, however, was deleted a few hours later.
Speaking about the incident to Dawn.com, a Careem spokesperson said that the company was looking into the matter. She said that the customer, who had allegedly been robbed, had not reached out to Careem herself and the authorities had found out about the incident from social media.
The spokesperson further said that the company had gotten in touch with the customer and was getting more details about the incident. If the captain was found guilty, the spokesperson said, he would be blocked from the Careem network.
When asked if the company would approach law enforcement agencies, the spokesperson said that registering a case with the police would be the customer's decision, adding the Careem security and legal team would assist by providing the evidence gathered by the company to the police.