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Jakarta Post

Grab driver in harrowing viral tale just 'didn't know the way'

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 12, 2020   /   04:49 pm
Grab driver in harrowing viral tale just 'didn't know the way' Grab, a ride-hailing and logistic service provider, took over Uber's South East Asia operations in 2018. ( Xylan)

A driver for ride-hailing service provider Grab has been cleared of allegations of attempted kidnapping after meeting with his accuser, saying the incident had been the result of miscommunication and his lack of knowledge about South Jakarta roads.

The driver, Muhammad Imam, and his passenger, Istiani, agreed on a peaceful resolution to the case after a meeting mediated by police at the Jakarta Police Headquarters in South Jakarta on Tuesday.

“Today I will retract the police report [I made],” Istiani said after the meeting, as quoted by “The driver and I have apologized and forgiven each other. I apologize to [Imam], his family, and Grab for all the fuss.”

Istiani’s harrowing account of her ride with Imam went viral on Twitter and Instagram over the weekend.

Read also: Woman uses Grab emergency button to escape shady driver in viral cautionary tale

The incident started when she ordered a GrabCar service to two destinations, to her office in the Dharmawangsa area in South Jakarta, and then to Indonesia Convention Exhibition in Bumi Serpong Damai.

Istiani had claimed that Imam was driving further away from Dharmawangsa and sped toward a toll road. During the ride, she also said she heard something that sounded like a walkie-talkie. He also frequently looked at her over his shoulder, making her suspicious and uncomfortable.

In panic, she pushed Grab’s Emergency Help button in the app, after which, in panic, Imam dropped her by the side of the toll road. The frightened Istiani was then picked up by a Grab officer who reported the incident to the police.

According to Imam, however, his navigation app had pointed him in the wrong direction.

Imam said he had only been a GrabCar driver for a month and was also new to the city, being a native of Brebes, Central Java.

“I don’t really know the South Jakarta area, I only know a bit of West Jakarta,” he said.

He added that what Istiani thought was a walkie-talkie was just him answering a phone call in a low voice in an attempt not to disturb her.

“I want to apologize to all affected parties, including Grab, the Jakarta Police, and [Istiani] for this miscommunication. This [incident] also probably happened because I haven’t fully grasped how to use the Grab application,” he said. (gis)