'Special guest' with babu's backing dupes 5 star hotels, arrested

Sarthak cheats six hotels, cops recover room keys

A 31-year-old man has been arrested for cheating five star hotels in the national capital by checking in, posing as a guest of a bureaucrat, the police said on Wednesday.

Sarthak Rao Babras, 31, who hails from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, was arrested on a complaint from ITC Sheraton Hotel on Tuesday, said Chhaya Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South).

The manager of the hotel had told police that Sarthak had checked in the hotel on Sunday on the basis of a recommendation from a bureaucrat. “The bureaucrat had assured the hotel while making a telephone booking that he would  pay for Sarthak’s stay upon his return to Delhi in a couple of days,” Sharma said, adding that Sarthak had provided a copy of his PAN card as his photo ID for the stay.

The hotel authorities, however, became suspicious when Sarthak availed a hotel taxi on Monday and took a personal loan of Rs 2,000 from the cab driver.

“When the cab driver reported the incident, the hotel conducted a profile check and was shocked to know that Sarthak had earlier cheated a hotel in Ahmedabad as well,” Sharma said.

The management immediately shared his information with other leading five star hotels in the national capital region to check whether he had duped any of them recently.

More hotels
“Enquiry revealed that Sarthak had stayed at the Oberoi Hotel before coming to Sheraton and had booked a room with the same modus operandi at the Hyatt Regency Hotel,” Sharma added. On the basis of the complaint, the police managed to arrest Sarthak when he was trying to check in the Park Hotel.

When interrogated, Sarthak told police that one of his friends had duped small hotels in Chennai and Kolkata on the basis of recommendations and had managed to evade payments by checking out discreetly.

“Sarthak got inspired by this and decided to replicate the style, but with an exception; he would target only elite four and five star hotels so that the best luxury could be availed without a cost,” Sharma said.

Sarthak duped six 5 star hotels in Delhi before he was arrested. The police have also recovered several swipe keys of various hotel rooms from him. Police are questioning him on whether he was involved in other cases.

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