Guest, staff member collude to run up INR 58 lakh bill at 5-star hotel; check out without payment

A five-star hotel in New Delhi's Aerocity has alleged that one of its occupants skipped out on paying a massive bill after a long-term stay. 

The hotel, Roseate House in Aerocity near the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, has lodged a case at the IGI Airport police station.
The hotel, Roseate House in Aerocity near the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, has lodged a case at the IGI Airport police station. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@Odysseytrvlapp

According to a police report, the hotel has suffered a loss of INR 58 lakh (USD 71,000) when the guest colluded with hotel staff and stayed for almost two years without making any payment.

The hotel, Roseate House in Aerocity near the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, has lodged a case at the IGI Airport police station.

According to the FIR lodged recently by Vinod Malhotra, an authorised representative of Bird Airports Hotel Private Limited, which operates Roseate, guest Ankush Dutta stayed for 603 days and ran up a INR 58 lakh tab but checked out without paying a single penny.

The FIR alleges that Prem Prakash, head of the Front Office Department of the hotel, who was authorised to decide room rates and had access to the hotel computer system to track dues of all guests, allowed Dutta's long stay in violation of the hotel norms.

The hotel management suspects that Prakash might have received some cash amount from Dutta for letting him overstay by manipulating its in-house software system that maintains and monitors the stay/visit of guests and their accounts.

"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 FIR said.

"In pursuance of the said conspiracy, the alleged staff of the hotel forged, deleted, added accounts entries and falsified a large number of entries in the account of the said guest Ankush Dutta in the Opera software system of the hotel," it added. The hotel has alleged that Dutta checked in on May 30, 2019, and booked a room for one night. He was supposed to check out the very next day on May 31 but he kept on extending his stay till January 22, 2021.

The hotel norm says that if a guest's pending outstanding dues exceed 72 hours, it should be brought to the notice of the CEO and Financial Controller for their information and to seek instruction. However, Prakash didn't send Dutta's dues to the CEO and FC of the hotel.

According to the FIR, Prakash didn't make any outstanding payment reports from May 30, 2019, to October 25, 2019. Even when he created the outstanding payment report after October 25, he forged it by clubbing pending bills of other unrelated guests into one bill with the motive to camouflage the pending dues of Dutta.

The hotel has alleged that Prakash resorted to various modus operandi to help Dutta enjoy a long stay there. He even fudged the account to show that other guests, who stayed in the hotel, paid for Dutta which turned out to be fabricated.

"The scrutiny of the record of the alleged officials of the hotel revealed that they created several fake and false pending bills to benefit Ankush Dutta by adopting various ways like as removing room nights from his bills, transferring his debits into the bills of other guests' bills, using settled bills of other guests by incorporating his name in the bill, etc," the FIR said.

The hotel also noticed that Dutta paid three cheques of ₹ 10 lakh, ₹ 7 lakh and ₹ 20 lakh at different dates but all of them bounced and Prakash didn't bring this fact to the notice of the hotel management. The hotel has demanded strict legal action against the culprits as "they have committed criminal offences, criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery and falsification of accounts".

A preliminary inquiry by the IGI police showed that prima facie the offences were made out, and now they are further probing the matter.

(Except for the headline and introduction, this story has not been edited by Connected to India's staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India – Writer

The Press Trust of India Ltd., commonly known as PTI, is the largest news agency in India. It is headquartered in New Delhi and is a nonprofit cooperative among more than 500 Indian newspapers. It has over 500 full-time employees as of 1 January 2022, including about 400 journalists.


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