The vicious way an Indian taxi driver was murdered in New Zealand’s Auckland city would shock “even criminals,” a senior police official said today as 40 officers stepped up their hunt for the elusive killer.

Hiren Mohini, 39, was killed early on Sunday in Auckland, one of the largest cities in New Zealand. Mohini’s taxi collided with a tree in Mount Eden at about 1.20 a.m. after he was allegedly stabbed by a passenger.

“I think this would shock anybody, even those from the criminal community,” Detective Senior Sergeant Hywel Jones, investigating Mohini’s murder, said.

He said the “particularly vicious” and “frenzied” murder is now being investigated by 40 police officers.

“We are determined to solve this murder, and we will,” Jones was quoted as saying by New Zealand Herald.

He said the post-mortem examination had confirmed that Mohini died of several stab wounds and forensic experts were examining a knife at the scene, said to be the murder weapon.

Jones said they were examining security footage which was very time-consuming. Police officers would also go door-to-door in the area and seek witnesses.

He said police have had “encouraging” calls to their hotline as they had appealed to the public for information on the attack.

Police is looking for a man in his 20s, who was seen fleeing the scene. They are not ruling out the possibility of other passengers in the taxi.

Jones appealed to local residents to check their bins and sheds in case the assailant had taken anything or left anything.

“Clothing may have gone missing off clothes lines. If there’s anything that may be of interest to police then my investigation team will be keen to hear,” Jones said.

Meanwhile, Taxi Federation executive director Tim Reddish said the group was rallying members to make donations to the family. Mohini leaves a wife and two young daughters.

Reddish said some of Mohini’s family were coming from India and the funeral was likely to be this week.

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