One of our Miami drivers had what really sounds like a human trafficking situation this weekend. Because they know I'm a retired police officer, they told me about their situation and asked for some advice -- which I provided privately.
Our driver was primarily concerned about the safety of the woman involved, and whether they had "done the right thing," which of course they did. But there is another aspect of the whole mess that they didn't really consider that led me to start this thread.
If you get dragged into a human trafficker situation, you are possibly dealing directly with the trafficker themselves...and they are not nice people. They are organized crime types, and if you get in their way, you could put yourself at risk.
So your FIRST, and overriding, consideration MUST be your own personal safety.
In this particular situation, there were two points during the ride when the pax (bad guy, maybe; maybe just a john) got out of the car and the woman pleaded for help. However, the woman did not want the police involved for whatever reason. The second time, our driver drove off and dropped the woman at a safe location. Unfortunately, the pax had left his phone in the driver's car. Our driver called Uber right away and explained the situation to them.
So what to do now?
My advice was to take the cell phone to the police station, explain the circumstances, and request that they write a report and impound the phone as evidence. I also advised the driver to cooperate fully with the police, rather than trying to cover for the woman. Her problem is her problem, and I don't want him to make it his problem.
Where are the risks in that situation?
For the driver, as long as he has the pax's phone, the pax can probably trace it and might pay him a visit. We've seen numerous threads here on the UP where some irate pax showed up at a driver's house by using Find My iPhone or some similar tool. That would be a bad thing.
In addition, depending on when the driver ended the ride (which I don't know), the pax might be able to figure out where he took the woman and go after her.
My suggestion to anyone in that same situation is to do the following:
If anyone has anything to add, please feel free.
- END the ride, so the pax can't track you and the victim via their Uber ride info.
- Get the victim the hell out of there ASAP if you have a chance (which he did). However, do not take any personal risks in doing that.
- Call Uber immediately after dropping the victim off.
- If the bad guy left anything at all in your car (especially their phone), go right to a police station and turn it in and make a report.
- If the item left behind is a phone, I would turn it off and remove the battery to prevent tracing.
- If you are not able to get the victim free of the bad guy, go right to the police and tell them what happened including all info you have on the bad guy and where you left them.