Police rule out student abduction attempts, say drivers were trying to be helpful by offering lifts

The recent kidnap scare where international school students claimed that they were being lured into vans, were not cases of abduction attempts.

Police have thoroughly investigated both incidents involving students from United World College of Southeast Asia (UWC) and Tanglin Trust School and determined that in both cases, the occupants of the vehicles were trying to be helpful by offering a lift to the students.

For the first case which happened on Jan 11, the male driver of a van had offered a ride to the student from United World College of South East Asia as it was raining that day. The parent of the student had been updated on the findings, and they were relieved that it was a case of misunderstanding, said the police in a statement.

As for the second case reported on Jan 16, a female bus attendant on a school bus from Tanglin Trust School noticed the student wearing the uniform of Tanglin Trust School walking towards the school.

She then offered the student a ride as the bus was going to the school. However, the bus did not bear the name or logo of the school.

The student declined she had earlier read a school circular advising them to be wary of strangers offering rides to students.

The police have since clarified with the student that no one had alighted from the school bus to persuade her to board it.

The Straits Times also reported of another alleged kidnapping incident involving a student from Dulwich College.

In the letter sent on Thursday (Jan 18) morning, Dulwich headmaster Nick Magnus said a senior school student heading home from school was approached in the vicinity of Farrer Road. The student, understood to be a boy, declined the offer and continued on his journey home, arriving safely.

The boy is understood to have later revealed the incident after reports of two other international students who were offered lifts by strangers.

Police said that the incident purportedly took place in December 2017 and that they have engaged the college to advise the student to make a police report so that they can investigate further.

The police are also investigating another incident reported on Wednesday (Jan 17) by the Nexus International School, located in Ulu Pandan.

In a letter sent to parents, the school said a female student was approached by two men in a vehicle at Old Holland Road on her walk home from school on Monday. It said the men were “quite persistent” despite her refusal to get into the car.

The police said that they take such reports very seriously.

"However, we urge members of the public not to speculate or spread unsubstantiated information which may generate unnecessary public alarm," added the police.

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