Delhi police arrested a man who impersonated as an official of the government of the United Arab Emirates, and duped The Leela Palace in Delhi by fleeing without paying his outstanding bill worth over ₹ 23 lakhs.
According to the authorities, the man identified as Mahamed Sharif (41), who is from Dakshin Kannada in Karnataka, showed a phoney business card and stayed at the Leela Palace Hotel for about three months in 2017.
He left the hotel with goods while still owing money on his bills, which resulted in a massive loss to the hotel of Rs 23,46,413. Following the incident, Anupam Das Gupta, who claimed to be the hotel’s general manager, filed a complaint with the police at Sarojini Nagar police station on January 14.
The police official said, “A case under sections 419/420/380 IPC was registered at PS Sarojini Nagar on the complaint of Anupam Das Gupta who alleged that he is the General Manager of The Leela Hotel Palace, Sarojini Nagar, Delhi and the accused person namely Mahamed Sharif stayed at The Leela Palace, New Delhi from 1st August 2022 and he ran off from the hotel on 20th November 2022 with hotel valuables and without settling his outstanding bills.”
Based on the complaint, a team was formed to locate the evading accused, and measures were undertaken to find the accused. Sharif was detained from Dakshin Kannada and brought before the court on January 19.
The accused, according to the police, pretended to be a high-ranking official of the United Arab Emirates government when he booked into the hotel using a phoney business card (office of His Highness Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan).
Another official said, “He also gave a resident card of the United Arab Emirates on his arrival on 1st August 2022. After staying for about 3.5 months, the accused fled from the hotel with hotel valuables and submitted a post-dated cheque worth INR 20 Lakhs, but due to insufficient funds the cheque bounced which clearly signified his malafide intentions and a clear intent to deceive the hotel authorities.”
Further investigation into the matter is underway.