Uber driver suspected of murdering British embassy worker in Lebanon – National

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BEIRUT – A Lebanese taxi driver with a earlier arrest for drug use has confessed to killing a British girl who labored on the British Embassy in Beirut, a senior Lebanese safety official stated on Monday.

A second safety supply stated preliminary investigations into the homicide of Rebecca Dykes confirmed the motive was purely felony, not political. The suspect, who labored for the Uber taxi service, had instantly confessed to the crime, which occurred early on Saturday, the supply stated.

The senior safety official stated the suspect was 41 years previous and had been arrested on drug-related fees within the interval 2015-17, which the official stated won’t present up on his judicial document.

READ MORE: British embassy employee discovered murdered in Lebanon

The second safety supply stated the suspect had a felony document however gave no particulars.

Lebanon’s state information company NNA recognized the suspect by the primary identify Tariq and the preliminary H, and stated he had picked Dykes up in his taxi in Beirut’s Gemmayzeh district on Friday night earlier than assaulting and killing her.

Uber declined to verify the suspect’s identify or how lengthy he had been driving for the service.

The incident was the most recent to spotlight the difficulty of security at Uber in varied international locations around the globe.

“We’re horrified by this mindless act of violence. Our hearts are with the sufferer and her household,” stated Uber spokesman Harry Porter. “We’re working with authorities to help their investigation in any approach we will.”

Porter stated the corporate makes use of commercially licensed taxi drivers in Lebanon, and the federal government carries out background checks and grants licenses.

Solely drivers which have clear background checks and clear judicial data are licensed, he stated. The suspect’s background examine didn’t present any convictions, or he wouldn’t have been licensed, Porter stated.

Police traced the suspect’s automotive by freeway surveillance cameras, they stated. Police solely stated that they had arrested a suspect and that it was not a political crime.

Dykes, who was strangled, was discovered by a most important freeway outdoors Beirut, a safety supply stated on Sunday. She labored on the British Embassy for the Division for Worldwide Growth.

“The entire embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this information,” Britain’s ambassador to Lebanon, Hugo Shorter, stated on Sunday.

“We’re devastated by the lack of our beloved Rebecca,” Dykes’ household stated in a press release. We’re doing all we will to grasp what occurred.”

In September, San Francisco-based Uber was stripped of its working license in London over considerations about its strategy to reporting critical felony offenses and background checks on drivers. nL5N1M325G]

In India, the corporate was sued twice by a girl who was raped in 2014 by an Uber driver, first for failing to take care of fundamental security procedures and once more alleging executives improperly obtained her medical data. The Uber driver was convicted of the rape and sentenced in 2015 to life in jail. Uber settled the primary lawsuit and has agreed to settle the second.

In Brazil, an organization coverage of accepting money funds for rides made drivers the goal of theft and homicide. Following a Reuters investigation, Uber in February rolled out new security necessities, together with requiring new money customers to register with a social safety quantity.

And in Houston, Texas, a 2016 metropolis investigation discovered that Uber’s background checks have been so inadequate the corporate cleared drivers with felony histories together with homicide, assault and 17 different crimes.

Uber is dealing with a bunch of issues, together with allegations of sexual harassment, knowledge privateness violations and a lawsuit and felony investigation over alleged trade-secrets theft. New Chief Government Officer Dara Khosrowshahi, who changed co-founder Travis Kalanick in August, has been vital of previous practices and vowed a brand new period of compliance.

The corporate is within the midst of a inventory sale during which Softbank Group will take a stake within the firm forward of an anticipated 2019 preliminary public providing.

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