Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra), Dec 17 (IANS) It was the end of a ritzy run for a notorious ‘Bunty’ style fraudster – who cheated deluxe hotels across the country using a staggering 58 fake PAN and AaDhaar cards – and was wanted all over India, police said here on Thursday.
Netting a big catch, the Navi Mumbai police arrested Vincent John, 63, hailing from Tamil Nadu, after he duped the five-star Hotel Regenza, part of the Tunga Hotels chain in the city, Police Commissioner Bipin Kumar Singh said.
Following a complaint lodged by the hotel on Sunday, a police team was formed which finally succeeded in apprehending the accused on Tuesday (December 15).
Assistant Commissioner of Police Vinayak Vast said that the accused – who has 187 similar fraud cases lodged all over India – was produced before a Thane court which sent him to police custody till Friday.
Detailing his modus operandi, the police said that he would approach various five-star or deluxe hotels all over India posing as a corporate honcho, impress the staff with his lavish habits and good English, book the most luxurious suites, and order the most expensive foods and alcoholic drinks during his sojourns – and flee.
“He attempted a similar strategy even at the Hotel Regenza. He also booked a banquet hall for a dozen guests for business meet-cum-party for which high-end orders for food and beverages were placed. He even took a laptop from the hotel purportedly for a presentation,” said Inspector Ravindra Patil, who was part of the investigating team.
Later, the hotel authorities realised that the guest had not reached the banquet venue and they started a search for him to belatedly realize that he had fled from there along with his belongings.
After the hotel lodged the complaint, the police, deploying technical intelligence, managed to zero in on John at a hideout in Thane from where a police team nabbed him.
“The accused hails from Kila-Uruddi, in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu and had around a dozen different aliases in which he had procured such a large number of PAN and Aadhaar cards,” said Patil.
The elusive John, who remained undetected for long, has also confessed that he would sell outside the expensive liquors, cigarettes and other stuff he picked up without clearing the bills from the deluxe hotels, to finance his lavish lifestyle, which included air travel.
Further investigations are underway besides contacting the police from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and other states and cities, where he is reported to have committed similar crimes.