Taxi drivers generic
Taxi drivers wait for passengers. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: A taxi driver here was arrested for assault and robbery of passengers after he was identified from a line-up of 45 cabbies by the victims, a court heard on Wednesday.

Police swung into action after two women complained of being robbed by a taxi driver in Barsha late at night. They identified 45 taxi drivers who were operating in the same area at the time of crime.

Police took the unusual step last August when a female passenger and her friend took a taxi from Shaikh Zayed Road to Tecom after midnight.

One of the two women argued with the taxi driver when she realised he was taking a longer route. During the argument, the second woman vomited in the car.

The driver then allegedly stopped the taxi near a villa in Barsha Heights and kicked both the women out of the cab before biting one of them on the shoulder and robbing Dh3,000 in cash.

When one of the women tried to call police the driver allegedly snatched her iPhone.

Police line-up

Despite not having the taxi driver’s name or registration number, Dubai Police were able to identify 45 taxi drivers.

The female passengers were then able to identify the culprit from an identity parade at Barsha Police Station.

The Pakistani driver, 30, has been charged and faces court trial.

An Emirati police officer testified that the two passengers thought the driver was taking a longer route in order to get more money before one of the women vomited in his car.

“The women [whose ages and nationalities were not disclosed in court records] said that the driver became angry and stopped near a villa. He kicked them out of the car and drove away. However, one of the women was able to write down three digits from the taxi’s number plate,” said the police officer in court records.

He said that with help from the Roads and Transports Authority (RTA), police limited the number of drivers who worked in that area on the day of the incident to 45.

“Despite narrowing the number to seven drivers [thanks to the three digits] we decided to show the victim 45 drivers to identify the defendant.”

During questioning, the defendant denied having worked that day but RTA documents proved otherwise.

He later admitted he was working but that no argument had taken place when he dropped off the passengers in Umm Suqeim, in the western part of Dubai.

A medical report from Rashid Hospital confirmed the woman had a bite mark on her shoulder.

The defendant failed to show up in court on Wednesday. A verdict is expected on February 27.