A man was arrested for allegedly staying at a five-star hotel here for about four months by posing as a functionary of the UAE royal family and fled with an outstanding bill of over Rs 23 lakh, police said.
Mahamed Shareef checked in into The Leela Palace, New Delhi on August 1 last year. He was staying in room number 427 for about four months and fled on November 20 without paying the bills, they said.
Besides cheating the hotel of Rs 23.46 lakh, he decamped with valuables, including silver bottle holders and the mother of a pearl tray, police said.
Shareef was apprehended from his residence in Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka on January 19, police said.
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The accused registered at the hotel by impersonating an important functionary of the “Office of His Highness Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan” of the UAE government and gave a fake business card, according to the police.
They said that he also provided a UAE resident card on arrival at the hotel.
“It seems the guest purposely gave these cards to create a false image and garner extra trust with an intent to cheat and deceive the hotel at a later stage,” the management of the hotel has said in its complaint to the police.
“The guest had made a few part settlements in the month of August and September 2022 worth Rs 11.5 lakh for room charges. However, the total outstanding still stands at Rs 23,48,413 against which he had issued a post-dated cheque worth Rs 20 lakh due for November 21, 2022 which was duly submitted to our bank on September 22, 2022, but due to insufficient funds the cheque bounced,” it had said.
On November 20 last year, around 1 pm, the man had fled the hotel with valuables, a senior police official said.
According to the complainant hotel, “This seems to be completely pre-planned since we were under the impression that by November 22, 2022, the hotel will get the dues cleared through the cheque he had submitted.” “This clearly signifies that Mr Shareef had malafide intentions and a clear intent to deceive hotel authorities. This is a clear case of theft, cheating and fraud against The Leela Palace, New Delhi,” it further stated.