Three crew members of a truck from Kanyakumari were waylaid by an unidentified gang that snatched Rs. 22,000 and mobile phones after assaulting them on the Tirunelveli-Virudhunagar highway near here on Wednesday morning.

Police said Sathish Kumar of Trivandrum, who was driving the lorry from Kanyakumari to Tiruchi for loading sand, stopped the vehicle on seeing a light , when the vehicle was proceeding towards Virudhunagar.

He mistook the light from a torchlight as a ‘signal’ by commercial sex workers and stopped the vehicle between Pattampudur and Maruloothu at around 2 a.m., even as lorry owner, R. Edwin Kumar (43) and Anees (23) were sleeping in the vehicle.

Only after walking into the roadside bush, he realised that he was duped by three persons who assaulted him demanding money, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Virudhunagar), M. Ramamoorthy, said. When he said the money was with the owner in the vehicle, the gang attacked the owner and cleaner too.