A carpool service for Nanyang Technological University students has been suspended following allegations one of its drivers sexually assaulted a student passenger.
The driver has already been arrested, the unidentified accuser said in an account of the alleged incident posted anonymously online yesterday.
“Without going too much into details because the police investigation is still ongoing, I want to share that I was involved in an incident last week where a non-NTU male hitched me via Ride Kakis, brought me to a secluded carpark and molested me,” read the post to the NTU Confessions page. It had been written Sunday.
The student said the incident happened after booking a ride via the Ride Kakis service via Telegram. The driver reportedly told the student he wanted to be “friends” before driving to the carpark and assaulting the student.
The Ride Kakis service, which has nearly 4,000 subscribers on its Telegram channel, announced last night it was suspended till further notice due to a “recent incident” without elaborating further.
The university said Tuesday afternoon it had not heard of the incident and urged the student to report it.
“The University is very concerned to learn of this and strongly encourages the student to contact her school or the Student Affairs Office, so that we can support her as we have not yet received any reports on the alleged incident,” Victor Yeo of the school’s provost office said in a statement to Coconuts Singapore. “We also advise all students to be aware that groups offering ride services are unregulated. Unlike official ride-hailing apps and public transport, they may pose certain risks.”
Police were not able to comment on the case when Coconuts Singapore called to inquire.
The purported victim, who intends to report the incident to the university, added that another police report had already been filed against the same driver over a similar case.
“For those doubting this is real, don’t. I’m really not trying to stir shit or anything. I just wanna caution everyone, especially with all the sexual harassment cases nowadays … I will be writing to the school about the incident, but figured a lot of NTU students read this page so it would be easier and faster to reach out,” the student wrote.
The student also warned others using non-regulated hitch platforms like Ride Kakis to be more careful, and to ask for proper identification of the driver before boarding the vehicle.
“The thing about Ride Kakis is that anyone can use it and verification is not compulsory. Yes, hitch can make friends but don’t be so foolish to let your guard down,” the student added.
The student also pleaded with those who may know his or her identity not to expose it.
“I wish to remain anonymous until the case is closed. So please don’t rat me out, thanks!” the message said.
Nearly 4,000 subscribers are on the Ride Kakis (NTU) Telegram channel. There, people can request or offer rides by providing details such as their Telegram handles, pickup and destination locations, times, and fares.
A cursory review of messages on the channel showed most users use it to book rides to or from the university campus.
This article, Nanyang Tech student alleges sexual assault by Ride Kakis carpool driver, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!