India police on manhunt for Uber driver who allegedly raped customer

An Uber taxi driver allegedly raped a 25-year-old woman in the Indian capital before threatening to kill her if she alerted police, the company and local reports said Sunday. The woman, an executive for a finance company, dozed off in the taxi as she was returning home from dinner with friends on Friday night, media reported. The woman has told police she woke to find the taxi parked in a secluded place where the driver assaulted and raped her, before dumping her near her home in north New Delhi. The woman took a photograph of the car’s number plate and then reported the crime to police, an officer told the Press Trust of India news agency.

We have identified the cab company and the driver, who is in his mid-30s. Raids are being conducted to nab him.

A Delhi police spokesman

The attack is a blow to Uber’s reputation in India, where women are extremely safety-conscious after dark following a string of rapes that sparked global shock and anger. The company said it was working with police to solve the “terrible crime”, while the driver’s licence has been suspended. U.S.-based Uber is gaining popularity in India, especially among young, urban workers who use its smartphone app to connect with and pay for local drivers. But the firm, founded in 2009 and now present in more than 200 cities and in 45 countries, has faced privacy concerns. The company’s rapid expansion has also caused tensions with traditional taxi drivers, especially in Europe.

Our thoughts are with the victim of this terrible crime and we are working with the police as they investigate.

Uber spokeswoman Evelyn Tay, in a statement