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Indian-origin Uber driver pleads guilty to charges of kidnapping female passenger in US

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

An Indian-origin man working as a for ride-sharing company in the US has pleaded guilty to kidnapping a sleeping and driving her more than 60 miles from her destination to boost his fare.

Harbir Parmar, 25 of pled guilty in White Plains federal court to kidnapping and wire fraud.

He was arrested in October last year. Parmar pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He will be sentenced in June.

US said Parmar took advantage of a vulnerable woman who utilised a ridesharing service by kidnapping and terrorising her.

"In addition, he charged many of his ridesharing customers with fraudulent fees," he said adding that Parmar will now be held accountable for his brazen crimes.

According to the indictment and statements made during the plea proceedings, Parmar, who worked as a for Uber, picked up the woman in February 2018 traveling from Manhattan to White Plains in upstate

After the woman fell asleep in the backseat of the vehicle, Parmar changed her destination in Uber's mobile application to an address in Boston, Massachusetts, and proceeded to drive toward that location.

When the woke up, the vehicle was in She asked Parmar that she be taken to White Plains or to the police station, but he refused. He instead dropped her off on the side of highway in The woman went to a nearby convenience store where she sought assistance.

In addition, from December 2016 through February 2018, Parmar sent false information about the destinations of Uber's customers through its mobile application on several occasions.

At times, he also sent false information about the application of a cleaning fee to be applied to the accounts of the company's customers.

In these instances, customers filed complaints about being overcharged for their rides. These instances have resulted in thousands of dollars in improper charges to the accounts of Uber's customers.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 15 2019. 10:40 IST