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The New Paper
May 25, 2023
A passenger of ride-hailing service Tada has lodged a police report against her driver, whom she alleges demanded payment in exchange for returning her laptop.
Juliet Isabella, a teacher, had booked the ride on Monday (May 22) from Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ Secondary School to Ai Tong School.
In her Facebook post, Isabella says she left her laptop behind when she alighted the vehicle.
When she contacted the driver, Abdul Hamid A Razik, he allegedly asked her how much she was willing to pay for him to “safeguard” her laptop.
When she offered to travel to his location to collect it from him along with a token fee of $10, she said the driver complained the token fee was “so little”,
He gave the passenger his mobile number, and told her to think about how much she should pay him.
“That’s blackmailing & holding my laptop ransom!” Isabella wrote.
When she informed TADA of the incident, she was told to make a police report.
Later, she tried calling the driver on his mobile phone twice, only to have him reportedly ask her for $100.
“Your laptop is expensive, you should pay me money for safekeeping your laptop,” he allegedly said.
Isabella said the driver did not provide his location for her to pick up her laptop when she did not agree to pay him.
Finally, the driver lowered his demands to $50.
He allegedly said that otherwise, he would take “his own sweet time” to surrender it to the police with no guarantee that her belongings would be safe.
Isabella lodged a police report over the incident at 10.30pm the same day.
Responding to queries from MS News, TADA said the passenger had contacted them at 4.30pm on the day of the incident.
The company said they followed up with the driver, and subsequently informed Isabella that her laptop was brought to a police post at 9pm.
They highlighted that their drivers are to return lost items to the nearest police post. They can also return them to the TADA Station at Midview City or to the passenger directly if such an agreement is made.
The majority of netizens in the comments empathised with Isabella, saying the driver was resorting to “ransom” and “extortion” tactics, and urged her to take legal action against him.