On January 19, Delhi Police arrested 41-year-old Mahamed Sharif from Karnataka’s Dakshin Kannada for impersonating a United Arab Emirates government official and duping Leela Palace Hotel in Delhi of Rs over Rs 23 lakhs. As per the police, Sharif presented a fake business card and stayed in the hotel for around three months in 2022 before fleeing without paying a huge bill. Also, he stole the hotel’s property, adding to the loss. Reportedly, Leela Hotel faced a loss of around Rs 23,46,413.
Delhi Police arrested accused Mahamed Sharif who impersonated himself as a member of the Royal Family of UAE & duped The Leela Palace Hotel in New Delhi for Rs 23.46 lakh. The accused was apprehended on Jan 19 from Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka: Delhi Police
— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2023
A complaint was filed by the General Manager of the hotel Anupam Das Gupta at Sarojini Nagar police station. Based on his complaint, an FIR was registered by the police on January 14. News agency ANI quoted police saying, “A case under sections 419/420/380 IPC was registered at PS Sarojini Nagar on the complaint of Anupam Das Gupta who alleged that he is the General Manager of The Leela Hotel Palace, Sarojini Nagar, Delhi and the accused person namely Mahamed Sharif stayed at The Leela Palace, New Delhi from August 1, 2022, and he ran off from the hotel on November 20, 2022, with hotel valuables and without settling his outstanding bills.”
Police constituted a team to investigate the matter. During the investigation, they found that the impersonator was from Dakshin Kannada. He was arrested by the police on January 19 and presented in court. The accused identified himself as an important functionary of the office of His Highness Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The police added, “He also gave a resident card of the United Arab Emirates on his arrival on August 1 2022. After staying for about 3.5 months, the accused fled from the hotel with hotel valuables and submitted a post-dated cheque worth INR 20 Lakhs. Still, due to insufficient funds, the cheque bounced, which signified his malafide intentions and a clear intent to deceive the hotel authorities.”
The curious case of not-so-shareef Sharif
Hotel authorities revealed that Mahamad Sharif checked into Room 427 of the five-star hotel on August 1, 2022, and left quietly on November 20, 2022, without informing anyone. The man also allegedly stole silverware, a mother-of-pearls tray and other items from the hotel room, raking up a bill of over Rs 23 lakhs.
In the complaint, Gupta said, “This seems to be completely pre-planned since we were under the impression that by November 22 2022, the hotel would get dues cleared through the cheque he had submitted. This signifies that Mr Sharif had malafide intentions and a clear intent to deceive hotel authorities….”
Sharif told the hotel administration that he worked with the Sheikh and was in India on official business. He provided a business card, a UAE resident card, and other documents to support his claim. He often spoke with the hotel staff about his life in the UAE in a bid to sell his story.
Interestingly, Sharif initially paid a sum of Rs 11.5 lakh to the hotel, but afterwards, he left without paying.