Woman escapes kidnap attempt while using ride-share app: 'I am shocked and shaking'

Justin Chan

A 25-year-old Indonesian woman narrowly escaped a kidnapping attempt while using a ride-sharing app, according to Coconuts Jakarta and the Indonesian news site Detik.

The woman, identified only by her initial "T," reportedly ordered a car from her home in Palmerah, West Jakarta, to the Indonesia Convention Exhibition in South Jakarta last Thursday through Grab, a Singaporean ride-hailing app. She was supposed to make a stop at her office in Dharmawangsa (which is also in South Jakarta) on the way.

The woman noticed something was off when she heard her driver talk cryptically to another person over the phone or a walkie talkie, Coconuts Jakarta reports. She became more concerned when she realized that her driver was driving in the opposite direction.

"He [the driver] kept saying he’s following the map’s navigation whenever I reminded him that my first destination is Dharmawangsa," she told Detik.

The driver allegedly got into a confrontation with the woman, claiming that he would take her instead to a different area. The woman then reportedly shared her location with her boyfriend and contacted Grab's call center through the app's emergency button.

When the driver learned that the woman was on the phone with an operator, he yelled at the woman and continued to speak to the other person on the other line, Coconuts Jakarta reports. He then dropped the woman off on the side of a road before driving off.

A screenshot of the woman's Instagram story reveals that she was distressed following the episode.

"I am shocked and shaking from what happened earlier in the afternoon," she wrote in Indonesian. "I want to share my story to warn other women traveling alone via Grab car in the afternoons/evenings."

Fortunately, the woman's boyfriend reportedly picked her up later. Grab also purportedly suspended the driver and has since conducted an investigation into the incident alongside local law enforcement.