The Estonian ride-hailing Bolt app is in trouble again. Recently, the daughter of media personality Ciku Muiruri was allegedly abducted in Westlands Nairobi.
While leaving a party, Erica Gachoka and her friend Shanice Agose requested a cab. According to a statement by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the two young ladies allegedly used Bolt App to request a ride from Rhapta Road to Kilimani.
Instead of following the customers’ defined route, it is alleged the driver used a hammer to threaten the passengers. Thereafter, the taxi driver is reported to have sped off towards Thika on the outskirts of Nairobi. The suspects held the ladies against their will and demanded a ransom of 250,000/- for the release of each one of them.
Following investigations, sleuths discovered the suspects have been operating in Nairobi, Thika, Ruiru, and Witeithie in Kiambu County. The arrest of Timothy Kiragu, 34, and Samuel Kipkurui, 33 led the police to where the abducted ladies had been hidden.
Fortunately, after 8 days, the ladies were safely reunited with friends and family.
In a statement confirming the incident Bolt Kenya said they helped local authorities in the investigations:
“We proactively collaborated with the authorities to provide pertinent information regarding this case that supported the conclusion of this investigation,” : the statement read.
In addition, the company has urged consumer caution. Bolt has discouraged app users from boarding a cab that does not match details on the app. The company claims this is what led to the incident.
“We strongly discourage the use of vehicles that do not match the details on the platform, as this was one of the issues that led to this unfortunate incident,”: the company added.
More Trouble for Bolt App
On the morning of 12th June, a Kenyan on Twitter alleged that he was a victim of theft. The Kenyan man on the Twitter handle @KenMisiko claimed he had given a laptop to a Bolt driver for delivery.
However, Mr. Misiko claimed the Bolt App driver did not honour the delivery. Furthermore, the driver switched off his phone and was nowhere to be found.
Mr. Misiko alleges the Bolt driver’s name is Ezekiel and he was driving a Suzuki Alto.
In a reply to his Tweet, Bolt wrote: “Hi @kenmisiko, we are concerned to hear this. Please report on this to us by sending an in-app message or email us via [email protected] so we can assist follow up on the driver.”
As of now, we cannot verify if the allegations were investigated by Bolt and resolved.
In the recent past Bolt has introduced several safety features. One of the features requires drivers to take a selfie before they can go online. The selfie is compared to the driver’s profile photo to verify their identity. Additionally, the Bolt app has several safety measures, such as driver and car verification, where riders can confirm the identity of the driver and the car that picks them up.
Also, riders can share the status of their live trips with a third party for added safety, and Bolt tracks trips in real time.