India’s biscuit bandits strke again

The World

The biscuit bandits strike again!

Awhile back there were a spate of cautionary tales in the Indian press about people who fell victim to smooth-talking traveling companions aboard Indian trains. In the spirit of convivial travel, they happily excepted cream biscuits, or sandwich cookies, as Nabisco likes to call them, only to wake up hours or (in once case) days later with all their valuables gone.

Yep. It turns out those nice boys on the train had mixed powerful sedatives into that tasty cream filling. Oh-oh-oh for some ice-cold milk.

It gets better.

Today's Indian Express reports that now the biscuit bandits have branched out to buses. A South African woman was apparently on her way to someplace called Ramesh Park. But when she couldn't find an auto rickshaw, she decided to take a local bus. A polite young chap struck up a conversation. He offered her a cookie. And she woke up in a hospital bed the next day — missing $3,500 and 5,000 Indian rupees.

I'm not one to blame the victim, and I try not to be a snob. But there's something a wee bit fishy here, or the Express didn't manage to pry the whole story out of the woman.  If she was carrying $3,500, what was she doing staying in the grimy backpacker ghetto of Paharganj?  And why was she stumbling around looking for an auto rickshaw, instead of calling a cab?

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