Wed, 29 Nov 2023

By Divanshu MalhotraNew Delhi [India], January 22 (ANI): A team of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Delhi Police's Special Cell will jointly interrogate the accused, who impersonated as an official of the government of the United Arab Emirates and was arrested for allegedly duping Leela Hotel in the national capital, said sources on Sunday.

The accused identified as Mahamed Sharif (41) was arrested in Karnataka on January 19. He fled without paying his outstanding bill worth over Rs 23 lakhs to the hotel.

According to the Delhi Police sources, the accused was in contact with people in several ministries in North Block and South Block and that's why the police want to know who he was in contact with and why he was there.

"Mahamed Sharif has written letters in many ministries including PM Modi, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal and he used to visit the ministries many times to get updates on his letters. Sharif used to give many business ideas to them through letters. The police have also recovered those letters. The recovered letters also have the receiving stamp of the ministries and it is possible that he has received these letters physically," said sources.

The sources further said that Sharif had destroyed his mobile phone and police suspect that he may have done this to destroy some evidence.

"Now the police are trying to recover his mobile. So that it can be sent for forensic examination and data can be recovered," it said.

However, Sharif is saying that he left his mobile in Goa, whereas in the investigation it has come to the fore that the accused never went to Goa.

Apart from this, sources also said that Sharif is a very sharp-minded person and he is not cooperating at all in the police investigation.

"He remembers his Aadhaar card, PAN card and the numbers of all the documents verbally and that is why IB can keep him under observation so that the truth can be extracted from him," said sources.

Meanwhile, the accused was produced in Patiala House Court where he has been sent to police custody for two days.

Keeping his side in the court, the lawyer of the accused, Samar Khan, said, "Mahamed Sharif had not done any cheating, but he was constantly in touch with the hotel authority. The transit remand of the Sharif is also illegal. There are many norms of transit remand which were not followed."Khan further said that Sharif has already paid Rs 11.50 lakh to the hotel"A check of 20 lakhs was given for the due payment which was bounced. This case is only of section 138 check bounce but a case of forced cheating has been registered," said his lawyer.

Keeping its side in the court, the police said that the accused absconded from the hotel and had also switched off his mobile phone.

"The accused also changed his phone numbers seven times and he was arrested with the help of technical support," the police said in a court.

As per the Delhi Police, Sharif, hailing from Karnataka's Dakshin Kannada, presented a fake business card and stayed at the hotel for nearly three months last year.

He fled with hotel valuables and without settling his outstanding bills causing a huge loss to the hotel worth Rs 23,46,413.

Following the incident, the police registered the FIR on January 14 this year at Sarojini Nagar police station at the complaint of Anupam Das Gupta who claimed to be the General Manager of the hotel.

"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 1st August 2022 and he ran off from the hotel on 20th November 2022 with hotel valuables and without settling his outstanding bills," the police said.

A team was constituted based on the complaint to nab the absconding accused and efforts were made to trace the accused.

Sharif was apprehended on January 19 from Dakshin Kannada and was produced before the court.

According to the police, the accused checked into the hotel with a fake business card and impersonated himself as an important functionary of the Government of United Arab Emirates (office of His Highness Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan).

"He also gave a resident card of the United Arab Emirates on his arrival on 1st August 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, but due to insufficient funds the cheque bounced which clearly signified his malafide intentions and a clear intent to deceive the hotel authorities," the police said.

Further investigation into the matter is underway. (ANI)

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