A German tourist couple were taken to Patel Nagar, instead of a Paharganj hotel where they planned to stay, by the driver of a taxi they had hired from the airport. The owner of a Patel Nagar guest house then forced the couple to pay up, despite their resistance.
The incident, which came to light nearly two months after another German couple were fleeced by an airport taxi driver and a travel agent and were taken to Pushkar instead of Paharganj, has once again highlighted the safety concern of foreigner tourists in India.
The couple approached Delhi police on Wednesday when they had to catch a return flight. “They had come to India on February 22. They had booked a hotel in Paharganj and took a taxi from the prepaid booth at the airport’s Terminal 3 to go to their hotel,” a senior officer said. Instead of taking them to Paharganj, the driver took them to a guest house in Patel Nagar.
“There, the driver took his commission and left. The owner of the guest house forced the couple to take a room. They resisted but the owner took their credit card and made a transaction. The scared couple left the hotel immediately,” the officer added.
The police said they did not know how much the owner of the guest house had withdrawn using their card.
But the couple were wise enough to note down the registration number of the taxi and name of the guest house. Despite the incident, the couple did not cancel their plans and travelled to Kerala. “They returned to Delhi on Wednesday and approached the police with details of taxi and hotel. The driver has been identified and a team was sent to detain the guest house’s owner,” the officer added.
In a similar case on January 5, a German couple hired a taxi from the Delhi airport to go to Paharganj but the driver took them to a travel agent in Gole market. That agent sent them to Pushkar by forcibly out Rs 1.16 lakh from them.
“The accused in that case remained in jail for more than a month and we asked the taxi union to cancel his license. In this case, too, we had intimated the taxi union,” the officer added.