Techie 'duped’, doped by auto driver?


Bengaluru: Twenty-three-year-old engineer Gaurav Singh had been trying to reduce his carbon footprint by cycling to work everyday for the past two months. On Wednesday, however, he had no other alternative but to take an auto rickshaw, since he had given his bicycle for repaire.
But misfortune struck when he was allegedly drugged and duped of Rs 2,000 by an auto driver in BTM Layout on Wednesday morning. The victim decided to make his encounter with the alleged fraudster public by posting about it on his blog as a cautionary tale.
Gaurav is a native of Mumbai and a resident of BTM Layout. He moved to Bengaluru two months ago and has been working for a private company on Richmond Road.
He took an auto from Gangothri Circle to his office. While enquiring about his destination, the auto driver allegedly asked if Gaurav was carrying Rs 500 notes with him for which he said yes.
Gaurav reportedly noticed pungent smell inside. That’s when the auto driver apparently asked the victim to give him six notes of Rs 500 denomination in exchange for 30 notes of Rs 100 denomination. When Gaurav said he only had Rs 2,000, the auto driver allegedly handed over twenty notes of Rs 100 denomination and took four Rs 500 notes in exchange.
Within seconds, the auto driver used his sleight of hand and substituted the four Rs 500 notes with four Rs 100 notes. He then questioned Gaurav as to why he has given him only Rs 400 instead of Rs 2,000, while showing him the 100-rupee notes and demanded his money back.
A few hours after the incident, Gaurav wrote on his blog: “Things are hazy from here on but I remember saying sorry to him, giving him his Rs 2,000 that he handed over to me; and asking him to drop me to Richmond Road. But the guy suddenly changed his pitch and asked me to pay Rs 300 as fare for the destination. I remember asking him to charge Rs 100, but he instead asked me to get down from his auto. I got down with a heavy head, remember hitting a tree trunk nearby, and do not remember how I got another rickshaw.”
Gaurav reportedly regained consciousness when the second rickshaw he was in asked him for directions at Sule circle. Checking his wallet, he realised he had been duped of Rs 2,000 and had only Rs 700 in it. Gaurav told Deccan Chronicle, “I did not go to a hospital or clinic to try and see what might have caused me to feel dizzy or nauseous. The whole thing happened so fast that I couldn’t possibly have noted down the auto driver’s details. I haven’t approached the police either.”
However, sources in the medical industry claimed the drug used could either be chloroform or a variant of scopolamine. “Scopolamine has been widely used in Colombia, Brazil and Peru to commit crimes. Side-effects of the drug include flushing, dizziness, hallucinations, or delirium,” they revealed.

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