Vashi police arrested a 63-year-old man who cheated at least 187 premium category hotels in many cities including Navi Mumbai and Mumbai. The accused impersonated himself as a businessman and cheated hotels by fleeing with the costly liquor and other items.
Police said that he cheated a Navi Mumbai hotel early this week and later he was arrested in Thane.
The accused identified as Vincent John, is a native of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu and he was arrested from Ghodbunder Road in Thane on December 15.
Suresh Mengde, DCP Zone 1 of Navi Mumbai police said that John had cheated Tunga Hotel in Vashi during his stay there between December 12 and December 14. “John impersonated himself as a businessman and submitted a Pan card as address proof to book a Suits in Vashi hotel. He ordered costly liquor and also took a laptop from the hotel for preparing a presentation for his office meeting,” said Mengde. He added that he had also booked a meeting room and banquet hall for 10 to 12 guests to be visiting the hotel the following day.
However, on December 13, he went outside for his office work and did not return. When the hotel failed to reach John and even their guests did not come to the hotel, they found it suspicious and opened the suits booked by him. “They were shocked that John had fled with the laptop and liquor bottle,” said Mengde.
The hotel management approached Vashi police station and a case of cheating and criminal breach of trust was registered under Section 420, 406 and 380 of IPC against John.
The Vashi police finally traced him in Ghodbunder Road in Thane through technical help and arrested him on December 15. Police also recovered the stolen laptop from him. However, he had already sold the liquor.
During the investigation, the police found that as many as 187 cases of cheating in premium hotels in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Maharashtra registered against him. He had used different names at different times.
Sanjay Dhumal, the senior police inspector from Vashi police station said, “John was in the hotel profession and after leaving job, he started cheating in a similar fashion. Since he used to speak fluent English and knew about hotel operations, he easily won the confidence of the hotel manager.” He added that John had used the cheated money for air travel in the past.