Man walks into 5-star hotel to get change, walks out with Rs 6 lakh

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A visitor claiming to be from Dubai walked into Hotel Intercontinental on Marine Drive and walked away with Rs 6.04 lakh kept in its accounts office, by tricking the accountant. The case has been registered with the Marine Drive police station.

According to the police, the incident took place on August 26 at around 2 pm, when a man walked up to the reception of the five-star hotel and asked for change for Rs 50. When he got five notes of ten rupees each, he then gave the receptionist a Rs 1,000 note and asked for change, saying he was from Dubai. The receptionist handed him two notes of Rs 500.

Now, the man requested for change for the R500 as well. “As the hotel employee on the counter didn’t have change for R500, he offered to get it from the accounts office,” said an officer from Marine Drive police station. This entire routine, however, was just a ploy to locate the accounts office of the hotel, which the accused did when the employee went there to get the change.

After this, he directly approached the accounts office, saying he wanted a Rs 1,000 note of I series. While the accountant, Firoz, was searching for the requested currency, the accused slyly removed the cash kept in a drawer and fled the scene. By the time Firoz realised what had happened, the accused had left the hotel premises.

The accountant later went to lodge a case at the Marine Drive police station. The case has been registered under Section 380 (theft) of the IPC. Police have obtained CCTV feeds from the cameras inside the hotel, but the face of the unidentified visitor is not clear.

While Sujata Gowda, associate director, marketing and communication for Hotel Intercontinental, denied that any such incident occurred, ACP Rajendra Chavan (Colaba Division) confirmed the incident and said, “The theft has taken place in Hotel Intercontinental. Investigations are on and the accused is absconding.”

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