Mahamed Sharif, a 41-year-old resident of Dakshin Kannada in Karnataka, was sentenced to two days in police prison by a Delhi court on Sunday for defrauding Leela Hotel of over Rs 20 lakhs. Sharif had reportedly pretended to be a representative of the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), checked into the hotel, and then checked out unnoticed without paying the remaining balance.
According to the police, Sharif used a fake business card and presented a United Arab Emirates residence card upon arrival on August 1, 2022. He lived at the hotel for around three and a half months before leaving with hotel valuables and handing in a post-dated check for INR 20 lakhs. However, the cheque bounced due to insufficient funds, which “clearly demonstrated his mala fide intent to deceive the hotel authorities,” as stated by the police.
Delhi Police arrests Mahamed Sharif who impersonated himself as a member of the Royal Family of UAE & duped Leela Palace Hotel in Delhi for Rs 23.46 lakhs.He ran off from the hotel without settling outstanding bills of Rs 23.46 lakhs after staying from Aug 1 to Nov 20,last yr. pic.twitter.com/YvGNGPtjgJ
— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2023
After Sharif’s escape, a squad was assembled to track him down. On January 19, he was ultimately captured in Dakshin Kannada. Sharif was brought before Patiala House Court’s Duty Metropolitan Magistrate, who remanded him to police custody on Sunday.
Based on the complaint, the Delhi Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) on January 13 under sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), and 380 (theft in dwelling house, etc.) of the Indian Penal Code. The police had begun their investigation and had tracked the accused in Dakshin Kannada, Karnataka and arrested him on January 19.
This case highlights the importance of proper identification and verification procedures for guests checking into hotels, as well as the potential dangers of accepting post-dated cheques. The Delhi Police should be commended for their efforts in capturing the fugitive and bringing him to justice.