Ride-sharing driver held over rape of woman passenger (Updated)

SERDANG: A driver working for the ride-hailing company Grab, who was accused of raping a female passenger on Sunday, has been remanded for six days.

Police arrested the driver after a 29-year-old passenger alleged she was raped by the man during a ride to her home in Seri Kembangan.

The 30-year-old suspect, who is a full-time driver, was nabbed by a Serdang police team at his home in Sungei Buloh at 10pm on Sunday.

Serdang police chief ACP Megat Mohamad Aminudin said the victim, who is an online trader, claimed she was drunk when she boarded the suspect's car from a karaoke centre in Petaling Jaya to Bandar Putra Permai at 4am.

Megat Mohamad said the suspect allegedly raped the woman near her house before sending her home.

He said the woman claimed she was too intoxicated to put up a fight when the suspect attacked her.

On receiving the woman's report at 3pm on Sunday, police launched a hunt for the driver before nabbing him.

"We also seized the vehicle that was used by the suspect, and the clothes he wore at the time of the alleged attack. The victim was also sent to the Serdang Hospital for a medical examination," he said.

Megat Mohamad said the suspect, who had no criminal records, and had been working with the ride-hailing company for the past six months was remanded for five days at the Petaling Jaya magistrates court yoday.

Grab Malaysia said it regrets the incident of one of its driver accused of raping his passenger.

"We regret the incident reported on 11 June where a GrabCar driver had allegedly sexually assaulted a passenger.

"The news is deeply distressing and our priority now is to assist and provide support to the passenger and her family, as well as fully cooperate with the police and relevant authorities. The police investigation is ongoing, and we will not be able to share further details of this case," it said in a statement today.

"The safety of both our passengers and drivers is, and always will be, a priority for Grab. I am truly sorry that we have let down our users and community in this instance, and humbly ask our passengers and drivers to please allow us to keep improving the safety and reliability of our service," Sean Goh, Country Head of Grab Malaysia said.

"The Grab driver app currently has a PDRM 'panic button' for drivers to immediately contact the police in emergency cases. We will be expediting our plans to extend this feature to the Grab passenger app as well," he said.

It was the third case involving e-hailing drivers in the Klang Valley in recent weeks.

On May 21, a pregnant woman suffered a miscarriage after she was allegedly robbed by the Uber e-hailing services driver and his accomplice when she boarded his car from Kuala Lumpur to her home in Puchong.

The driver, who has criminal records, was arrested in Johor three days later. A search for the suspect's accomplice continues.

On June 4, two students, both aged 24, who took a ride from Jalan Ampang to Cheras Perdana at 3.30am, were taken to an undisclosed area by an e-hailing service driver before being robbed by two motorcyclists, believed to be the man's accomplices.

The 31-year-old driver was nabbed by police in Kajang two days later.

In Penang, a 29-year-old Uber service driver was held after a 43-year-old Vietnamese woman claimed she was molested by the suspect during a trip from Lintang Paya Terubong to Jalan Argyll.

The driver was assaulted by the woman's husband and his friends who tracked him down after learning of the incident from the victim.

Apart from the driver, the victim's husband and two other men were also held for assaulting the suspect.

Subsequently, the Vietnamese woman was also arrested to assist in investigations.