Delhi Police have launched a search for a man who allegedly posed as a United Arab Emirates resident and employee of the Royal family of Abu Dhabi and stayed at the posh Leela Hotel in Delhi for over four months. The man is accused of having gone absconding, leaving behind a bill worth Rs 23 lakh, reported The Indian Express.
The accused have been identified as Mohammed Sharif, and Delhi Police have booked him on charges of impersonification and theft.
He had checked in at the hotel on August 1, 2022, and was staying in room number 427 and fled from the hotel on November 20. Police said his outstanding bills stood at Rs 23.46 lakh and he had also decamped with valuables, including silver bottle holders and a pearl tray.
Police said he had checked in at the hotel impersonating an important functionary of the UAE government’s ‘Office of His Highness Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’ and gave a fake business card. He also gave a UAE resident card on his arrival at hotel.
The hotel’s management in its complaint said that he did it intentionally to garner trust and deceive the hotel later.
“One of our in-house guests… has run off from the hotel on 20th November 2022 with valuables and also without settling his outstanding bills… and has cheated The Leela Palace New Delhi of amount worth INR 23,46,413/- The guest checked into the hotel with a fake business card and had impersonated as an important functionary of the government of United Arab Emirates,” reads the FIR in the case.
The complaint also read that he has issued a cheque worth Rs 20 lakh for November, but it had bounced due to insufficient funds.
“The guest had also made a few part settlements in the month of August and September 2022 worth 11.5 lakh for room charges, 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 said, as quoted by PTI.
“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,” the complaint stated.
Police said multiple teams have been formed to trace the accused. CCTV footage is also been checked to track his activities, and his phone number is also on surveillance to gather his location details.