Delhi Police are on the lookout for a man who, posing as a United Arab Emirates resident and employee of the Royal family of Abu Dhabi, allegedly cheated the Leela Palace Hotel in the capital by staying on its premises for over four months and leaving without paying the bill running into lakhs of rupees. Police have booked the man, identified as Md Sharif, for impersonation and theft.
Police said that Sharif stayed at the five-star hotel from August 1 to November 20 last year and left without informing anyone. The man also allegedly stole silverware and other items from the hotel room, police said, adding that he owes Rs 23-24 lakh to the hotel. A case was registered against Sharif on the complaint of the hotel management on Saturday.
Sharif allegedly told the hotel staff he worked with the Sheikh personally, adding he was in India for some official work. He would talk to the staff and tell them about his “work and life in the UAE”. To gain their trust, he spoke about the royal family to look “influential”, said the police.
The total bill of the room and other amenities added up to Rs 35 lakh. Police said Sharif paid almost Rs 11.5 lakh to stay at the hotel for a longer period but later left without paying a majority of the amount. “We don’t think his ID cards are genuine and he is not related to the royal family in Abu Dhabi. We are checking if he has done this before. He paid part of the bill in August-September last year and later gave the hotel a cheque of Rs 20 lakh. The cheque was submitted in November and it was found that it bounced due to insufficient funds,” said a senior police officer.
Police said they are yet to ascertain his personal details and occupation. “At this stage, it’s unclear where the man stayed before coming to the hotel. We are checking CCTVs and have mounted technical surveillance. He will be nabbed soon,” said the officer, the Indian news agencies reported.