Dutch Tourist Looted & Stranded In Puri to Return Home, Accused Driver Arrested

Puri: The stranded elderly Dutch national Anthony Von Arkel (72), who was stranded in Puri after being looted and coned by a cab driver, is all set to return back to the Netherlands with the help of the administration.

Anthony had sought the Odisha government’s help to return to his country. Puri district administration has made arrangements for his journey to Nagpur from where he will board a flight to the Netherlands on March 15. Anthony was accompanied by a team of Tourism and Sports officials to the Bhubaneswar airport, from where he boarded a flight to Nagpur on Thursday.

The accused taxi driver, Sagar Mallick, was arrested by a team of Puri Police from outside the State. The victim Anthony Von Arkel (72) identified him during a Test Identification Parade.

Anthony was stranded in Puri after a cab driver allegedly robbed him of all his cash and misled him on a journey to Delhi. The incident has raised concerns about the safety of foreign visitors to the pilgrim town, known for the iconic Jagannath Temple.

The Dutch national arrived in Bhubaneswar on December 18 for a tour of Odisha. He hired a cab to visit various places before reaching Puri on January 9th. On January 10th, he used a cab (OD-02-BU-8723) to travel to Bhubaneswar for currency exchange, reportedly converting around Rs 3.87 lakh. During a stop near Chandbali, Anthony discovered his bag containing the cash was empty upon returning to the vehicle. The driver, however, denied any involvement.

Following an argument, the driver allegedly offered assistance, taking Anthony to his relatives’ place in Bhubaneswar and later to a house in Puri. There, Anthony was told his missing cash could be recovered in Mumbai. The driver then convinced him to board a train to Delhi, claiming to be in the next coach but disappeared upon reaching Delhi.

Anthony, stranded and helpless in Delhi, received assistance from local youths and returned to Puri. He filed a police complaint, leading to a search of the driver’s house. Initially, the cab was seized, and later on, the driver was arrested.

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