Four Ola driver partners have been arrested for hoodwinking the startup and fleecing it of lakhs of rupees using a fake location app technology, a police official said on Thursday.
"Central Crime Branch (CCB) detected a cheating case by the Ola drivers who cheated the startup of lakhs of rupees," Deputy Commissioner of Police Kuldeep Jain told IANS.
The arrested people are Ravi, Manu, Satish and Nagesh.
The drivers downloaded Mock Locations (fake GPS path) app to trick the app that they drove customers in real using false map locations.
"Drivers use mock location app, show that they have driven the Ola cab by showing false map locations," said Joint Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil.
Available on Google Play Store, Mock Locations app enables a person to generate fake phone location information.
"You simply navigate the route on the map and press 'Go' to have all of the application on your phone to give fake information about the location," says the app while downloading.
According to Jain, the quartet was booking false or fake Ola cab trips using the counterfeit location technology so that they can earn commission from the startup.
After three days, when the Ola system managed to detect that the rides created by the quartet were fake, it was too late as the drivers had already earned the commission and abandoned all the details and documents such as SIM card, vehicle registration cards and others.
Later, they would replicate the same procedure with a new set of SIM cards and other details to con the startup again.
In the effort to trick the startup, the fake drivers bought as many as 500 mobile phone SIM cards using counterfeit names and they themselves used to book the cabs.
Police seized a laptop, printer, multiple cell phones, several identity cards, rubber stamps, SIM cards, documents, some stationery items, one Toyota Innova car, a red Maruti Swift and others.
Incidentally, Ola did not file a complaint with the police and learnt about the matter from a police official's tweet.
"I think there was a suo motu case filed by the police and they have nabbed the culprits. I am trying to understand but this is an old case," an Ola executive told IANS.
Likewise, it is also not clear as to how many lakhs of rupees Ola lost.
"I think these guys faked being a customer, they also faked being a driver. So on both sides," he said, deciphering their modus operandi.