Guest stays at luxury hotel for two years without payment, Delhi hotel reports Rs 58 lakh losstext_fields
A man has been accused of staying in a luxury hotel in Delhi for two years without paying.
A prominent five-star hotel in Delhi, Roseate House, has filed a case with the IGI Airport police station, claiming a staggering loss of Rs 58 lakh. The hotel alleges that one of its guests, Ankush Dutta, colluded with some hotel staff members to stay unnoticed for nearly two years without making any payment.
Dutta checked into the hotel on May 30, 2019, initially booking a room for one night. However, he continuously extended his stay until January 22, 2021.
According to the FIR lodged by Vinod Malhotra, an authorised representative of Bird Airports Hotel Private Limited, which operates Roseate, Ankush Dutta stayed for a total of 603 days. He also checked out without paying a single penny, raising suspicions of foul play involving hotel staff.
The FIR specifically implicates Prem Prakash, the head of the Front Office Department, who had the authority to determine room rates and access to the hotel's computer system for monitoring guest dues. It is alleged that Prakash allowed Dutta's extended stay to violate the hotel's norms, leading to significant financial loss. The hotel management suspects that Prakash may have received cash payments from Dutta in exchange for manipulating the hotel's in-house software system, which maintains and monitors guest stays and accounts.
The FIR states, "A criminal conspiracy was hatched by guest Ankush Dutta along with some known and unknown hotel staff, including Prem Prakash, with a motive to gain wrongfully and deprive the hotel of its rightful dues." The hotel further alleged that the staff involved falsified numerous entries in Ankush Dutta's account using the hotel's Opera software system.
According to the hotel's norms, if a guest's outstanding dues exceed 72 hours, it should be brought to the attention of the CEO and Financial Controller. However, Prakash failed to inform the CEO and FC about Dutta's pending dues. He did not generate any outstanding payment reports between May 30, 2019, and October 25, 2019. Even when he eventually created the outstanding payment report after October 25, he manipulated it by combining pending bills from unrelated guests into one bill, attempting to conceal Dutta's dues.
The hotel claims that Prakash employed various methods to facilitate Dutta's prolonged stay, including fabricating accounts to show that other guests had paid for Dutta's expenses. The investigation found evidence of "several fake and false pending bills" created by the alleged officials of the hotel to benefit Ankush Dutta.
The hotel also discovered that Dutta had issued three checks amounting to Rs 10 lakh, Rs 7 lakh, and Rs 20 lakh, respectively. However, all three checks bounced. Prakash failed to report this also to the hotel management.
Demanding strict legal action against the culprits, the hotel emphasised that "they have committed criminal offences, criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery, and falsification of accounts." A preliminary inquiry by the IGI police indicated that the allegations had merit, prompting further investigation into the matter.