A 22-year-old ‘captain’ of popular ride-hailing service Careem was found murdered in the Lakho area of Rawalpindi, local police said on Tuesday.
According to Naseerabad Station House Officer (SHO) Chaudhry Akhtar, the victim, Sajawal Ameer, had picked up a ride from banquet hall Dewan-e-Khas in Rawalpindi late on Monday night.
The passenger had told Ameer to take him to Lakho — a sparsely populated locality — where he was ambushed.
When the captain resisted, the robbers shot him five times, injuring him fatally. They made away with the captain’s cash, mobile phones and car.
SHO Akhtar told DawnNewsTV that since the area was secluded, there were no eyewitnesses to the crime.
Police later found the car Ameer was driving abandoned in Rawalpindi’s Chohar Chowk.
“The police have obtained the call records of the deceased captain and are close to tracing the culprits,” the official said.
According to police, the passenger may have been acting in connivance with the robbers. His call data record has also been secured.
A first information report, with charges of robbery and murder added, has been lodged, with the owner of the car as the complainant.
The body of the captain was returned to his family after a post-mortem examination.
This is the second such incident to have taken place in the twin cities in the past three weeks.
In a post to its Facebook page, Careem announced the captain’s demise and expressed grief over the incident.
“We sadly announce that our Captain Sajawal Ameer was fatally wounded last night in Rawalpindi/Islamabad at 10:50 pm in a car snatching incident. His death is a terrible tragedy and Careem mourns with his family and prays for Sajawal Ameer’s soul.
“This is the second such incident to have occurred in Islamabad in the recent past. We appeal to authorities to take strict notice of these incidents and enhance efforts to drastically improve the safety of citizens.”
In a separate, emailed response to Dawn.com’s request for comment, Careem termed the incident a “tragedy for the entire Careem family”.
A company representative said the company had “provided relevant data and information to the law enforcement authorities (LEAs) to ensure quick progress is made in the case”, and assured that the family of the deceased will receive “due compensation”.
On a question asking what actions Careem’s recently-constituted safety committee had taken to prevent such incidents from occurring, the official only said the committee has “been having meetings and recommendations are being made to ensure better security protocols are in place.”
Instead, he emphasised that “ensuring the citizens’ safety rests with LEAs.”
“We request the LEAs to ensure that our cities are made safer and our citizens do not have to fear for their lives when they leave their houses to earn an honest living,” the statement read.