Aus Police offer reward for fugitive Indian driver

Australian police have announced a reward of over USD 100,000 on an Indian man who killed a student here almost four years ago before fleeing the country.

Puneet Puneet was a 19-year-old learner-driver when he lost control and hit students Dean Hofstee and Clancy Cloker who were walking along City Road in Southbank in October, 2008.

Hofstee, 19, was killed instantly while Cloker suffered critical injuries. Both were students visiting Melbourne from Queensland.

The USD 105,864.87 is now being offered for information that leads to Puneet's arrest and return to Australia.

Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said it is the first time a reward has been offered in relation to a traffic offence.

"We believe that there are people both in Australia and India who can provide information in relation to Puneet's whereabouts," he said adding "It is also our belief that he is still in India at this time and we are working closely with our AFP (Australian Federal Police) counterparts on this matter.

"According to ABC, Australia will not seek Puneet's extradition until he is arrested or brought before an Indian court.

Puneet pleaded guilty to culpable driving after recording a blood alcohol reading of 0.165 He fled to India using a friend's passport just before he was due to face courtin 2009 and police believe he is still living there.

The friend was jailed for two-and-a-half years for perverting the course of justice.

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