There was about 10km to go, and we were about to call it a day, as we had to drive back to Mumbai for our few days of media interviews. Nick and Ramveer, the driver, were looking for a place that we could leave our steel trunks of gear that were always on the roof of the van, as they always cause problems with officials at check points. I was giving the last few kilometers a real push with Andrew, we were running under 5 minutes a kilometre as we knew it was now a good rest period that lay ahead.
We were running down a long hill and half way down we could see some motorcycles parked, we paid no attention as this was quite normal. As we got closer one of the guys walked into the road and cut us off, he was in full uniform, with quite a bit of brass on him. Ok I thought, bit strange, as I looked down I could see that he was armed. This was even stranger in the middle of the day. I looked left to his cronies and they were also armed. Andy and I stopped, smiled at the officer and told him where we were going. This didn’t seem to interest him at all.
“Passports please, and can I see your travel documents” he asked. This was a first and really a strange question, I looked at Andy and I could see he was also puzzled. I then explained to the officer that our documents were with the crew who were just ahead about 2 km. He then said that we were to get on the motor cycles. I once again went into a long explanation about the run and that I could not get a lift, it was only 2 km to the crew, eventually we were given permission to run, but with a plain clothes cop on a bike behind us. A few minutes later we arrived at the crew. Here serious stuff was going down, there were jeeps, cars bikes and about 15 police all around Nick and Ramveer, the 2 of them were looking seriously harassed and I could see they were getting well grilled. We ran in, and it was now our turn to go through the mill. The whole day was going one way.
What had happened was Nick found a temple with an elderly lady living in the home next to it. He and Ramveer then asked if we could leave our gear with her for a few days and that we would collect it on our return from Mumbai. As well as this Nick gave her 500 rupees for her troubles and left. Unbeknown to Nick, the old lady was not at all happy with these steal boxes. She then phoned her son in Mumbai and said that there was a bunch of strange foreigners down south and she has suspicions that they are gun runners that have landed and are trying to hide the stuff in the temple. Here son panicked and called the police in Mumbai and then chaos started.
You can imagine this small police station down south gets this call from the commissioner in Mumbai. Instantly all personnel were called on duty and we were hit with the brunt of the might of the local law. On top of this, the woman’s younger son walked in on the unloading of the trunks, oblivious to the other calls, he sneaked out around the house and also then phoned the local police from his mobile, saying that he had stumbled on some foreigners who had robbed the accident scene from a few days ago. Nothing was going our way.
Nick and Ramveer were now taken under escort back to the temple to show the cops our stash and then off to the charge office to make a statement.