Dutch Tourist Robbed in Puri by Cab Driver, Seeks Odisha Govt’s Help

Puri: An elderly Dutch tourist was left 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, identified as Anthony Von Arkel (72) arrived in Bhubaneswar on December 18th 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, Arkel 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 Arkel to his relatives’ place in Bhubaneswar and later to a house in Puri. There, Arkel 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.

Arkel, 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. While the cab was seized, the driver remains at large, and Anthony’s missing diamond ring and camera have not been recovered.

Initially placed in a shelter home, Arkel was later moved to Panthanivas, a state-run guest house, based on his complaint. Social activists are urging the authorities to ensure Arkel’s safe return and highlight the incident’s negative impact on Odisha’s tourism image. Arkel’s planned departure date is March 15th, but he requires assistance reaching Nagpur to board his pre-booked flight.

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