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Conman stays in Delhi five-star hotel and vanishes without paying Rs 26 lakh bill

The Leela Palace Hotel, New Delhi

A conman passed himself off as an employee of the Abu Dhabi royal family to stay at a luxury five-star hotel in the heart of Delhi and left without paying a huge bill of Rs 23 lakh. He is also reported to have decamped with expensive silverware from the hotel.

The Delhi Police have launched a manhunt for Mohammed Sharif, who has been charged with fraud and theft on a complaint by the Leela Palace Hotel management on Saturday.

Sharif checked into Room 427 of the Leela Palace on August 1 and left quietly on November 20. The hotel staff claims he stole several items from the room, including silver utensils and a pearl tray.

On arriving at the hotel in August, Sharif had told the staff that he was a resident of UAE and worked closely with Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

He showed a UAE resident card and other documents to back his credentials and liberally distributed his business card,. The conman regularly chatted up the hotel staff to pose as a friendly visitor.

The police are inspecting these documents, suspecting them to be fake.

The bill for the room and services over his four-month stay was Rs 35 lakh. He paid Rs 11.5 lakh and left without paying the rest. He had given the staff a cheque for Rs  20 lakh cheque that bounced as there was no money in the account.

Delhi police are scanning CCTV footage to identify the conman.