Home / News / India /  Man poses as UAE govt official flees Leela Palace without paying 23 lakh bill; Delhi Police launch hunt

The Delhi Police has began a hunt for a man who stayed at a Delhi's Leela Palace for four months, posing as a senior functionary of the UAE royal family, and led without paying bills worth more than 23 lakh.

As per details, the accused, Mahamed Shareef, checked into the five-star hotel on 1 August, stayed in room number 427 and fled from the hotel on 20 November, 2022.

Besides cheating the hotel of 23.46 lakh in outstanding bills, the accused also decamped with valuables, including silver bottle holders and a mother of pearl tray, said the police.

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The hotel management said that Shareef hecked into the hotel by impersonating an important functionary of the UAE government's – 'Office of His Highness Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan'. He also gave a giving a fake business card and 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 hotel management said in its complaint.

"The guest had also made a few part settlements in the month of August and September 2022 worth 11.5 lakhs for room charges, the total outstanding still stands at 23,48,413 against which he had issued a post-dated cheque worth 20 lakhs 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.

At around 1 pm on 20 November, the man fled from the hotel with valuables, a senior police official said.

"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," the complainant said.

Adding more, the complainant said, "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."

Meanwhile, the police is checking the CCTV footages, installed inside and outside the hotel's premises to ascertain Shareef's activities.

"Multiple teams have been formed to trace the accused man. We have not been able to establish his occupation yet and are working to gather his personal details. We have put his phone number on surveillance to get his last location," the police officer said.

With PTI inputs.

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