Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Malaysia: US Woman, 24, Abducted by "Rogue" Cabbie, Robbed and Gang-Raped By Three Assailants in Sungai Pelek, Sepang

An American woman, 24, who hailed a taxi in Kuala Lumpur was abducted, robbed and gang raped by three assailants on Monday (March 11). It should be noted that at the time the victim hailed the taxi, there was another person in the vehicle, other than the driver.

Police are understandably releasing few details on the attack.

COMMENT: In my SAFE FOREIGN TRAVEL workshops, which are offered in person to groups, as well as in a webinar format, I have two rules:

1. Never hail a taxi on the street in a developing country; and

2. Never get into a taxi which has more than ONE occupant [i.e., the driver].

Generally I advise travelers to get the phone numbers of reputable, radio-controlled taxi services from the hotel concierge. In this way, visitors are never placed in the vulnerable position of hailing a taxi on the street. Such a practice is particularly risky for solo women.  

After the cabbie and his accomplice abducted the victim, they collected a third accomplice before taking the American to 
Sungai Pelek, Sepang, the latter of which is located in the district of Sepang in Selangor, Malaysia. This town is about 25 minutes from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Tragically, the victim reportedly was gang-raped by all three men. Hours later, the assailants fled Sungai Pelek, Sepang (where the gang-rape occurred).

Strangely, the traumatized victim was left at the crime scene bound hand and foot by her rapists, although early on Tuesday (March 12), she was able to free herself and sought help from passersby who called police.

The woman was subsequently sent for a forensic medical examination.

Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Arjunaidi Mohammed said police arrested a suspect yesterday morning (Tuesday, March 12) and are looking for his accomplices. 

As I had suspected, the "cabbie" may not have been a licensed taxi and rather the taxi was being driven by a "rogue" taxi driver who may have stolen the taxi he was driving.

Police are also checking if the suspect they arrested was one of the two rogue cabbies who are being highly sought for a string of crimes committed on passengers.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.

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