Police hunt for conman who ‘posed as UAE royal family staff’ to cheat 5* Indian hotel

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Police in Delhi are hunting for a conman who allegedly posed as a UAE resident and member of staff for the royal family in Abu Dhabi to swindle a five-star hotel in India.

The man, identified as Md Sharif, reportedly racked up more than $28,000 in unpaid fees during a four-month stay at the Leela Palace Hotel in southwest Delhi before leaving without paying his bill, according to the Indian Express news site.

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Delhi Police have now launched a hunt for the man after a complaint from the hotel. He is wanted on charges of impersonation and theft.

According to the report, 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, and other items, including a pearl tray.

Sharif allegedly told the hotel that he lived in UAE and worked with the Office of Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the son of the late Sheikh Zayed, the founder of the UAE.

Police said he produced a fake business card, UAE resident card and other documents, which are now being checked.

“The guest checked into the hotel with a fake business card and had impersonated as an important functionary of the government of United Arab Emirates,” reads the police report in the case.

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,” the police said.

“We don’t think his ID cards are genuine and he is not related to the royal family in Abu Dhabi,” said a police statement in the report. “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 check which later bounced due to insufficient funds.

The accused allegedly fled the hotel on November 20 around 1 p.m.

“This seems to be completely pre-planned since we were under the impression that by 22nd November 2022, the hotel will get dues cleared through the [check] he had submitted. This clearly signifies that Mr. Sharif had…a clear intent to deceive hotel authorities…” said the complainant.

Police said they are yet to ascertain his personal details and occupation and are scanning CCTV cameras to locate the man.

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