In a movie-style twist, a con man who was posing as an employee of the Abu Dhabi Royal family had absconded from The Leela Palace, New Delhi. He had stayed at the five-star luxury hotel for four months without raising any suspicion and successfully managed to rack up a bill of a whopping AED 103,254 which in Indian currency comes up to ₹23,46,413.
The man, identified as MD Sharif by the Delhi Police, told the hotel staff that he was a resident of the UAE and was employed under the office of Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, an Abu Dhabi royal family member. For the purpose of strengthening his credibility, he had also shown his forged business card, UAE resident ID, etc.
The Man Stayed At Delhi’s The Leela Palace Hotel
He had checked into room 427 on August 1 last year and was last seen at the hotel premises on November 20 at around 1 p.m.
According to the FIR filed by The Leela Group officials, an in-house guest who stayed in room 427 had run off from the hotel after stealing some valuables and also without settling his outstanding hotel bills that’s worth INR 23,46,413/-.
The hotel officials had filed a cheating case against the culprit stating that he had impersonated the identity of an employee belonging to the royal family of Abu Dhabi and checked into the hotel using fake credentials.
The impersonator made dubious efforts to hold up to his narrative as a representative of the royal family of Abu Dhabi and would often talk to the hotel staff about the work and life he enjoyed in the UAE and as an ‘employee’ of the royal family.
He would also elaborate on the royal family to make others believe that he was an influential man in the UAE circle. The total expense estimated during his stay was around 35 lakh Indian rupees and he had paid a sum of 11.5 lakhs initially to divert any sort of suspicion.
He had paid this sum of money around August – September and later gave them a cheque for 20 lakh rupees. The cheque was submitted to the bank in the month of November after the hotel authorities came to know that the culprit had fled but it got bounced due to insufficient funds.
According to the hotel officials, the whole charade was pre-planned by the culprit as the cheque he gave was post-dated to 21 November 2022. It is clear that the person was working with the intent to cheat and commit fraud against The Leela Palace.
The Delhi police have launched an investigation into the matter and they have started to search through the CCTV footage at the hotel to understand the activities of Mr.Sherif while he was staying there.
The fake documents that he submitted at the hotel are also being analyzed. Multiple teams have been instructed to identify the whereabouts of the person and his phone number is being monitored to trace his last known location.