How man who told tourists ‘atithi devo bhava’, spiked their coffee, stole their cash was nabbed in Mumbai | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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How man who told tourists ‘atithi devo bhava’, spiked their coffee, stole their cash was nabbed in Mumbai

Mumbai city news: One such cheap cup of coffee, however, proved to be costly for Israel citizen Metan Shalom Juria, 35

mumbai Updated: Jul 10, 2017 11:25 IST
Megha Sood
Officers said Shaikh targeted mostly elderly tourists and couples who came to see Marine Drive promenade or Gateway of India.
Officers said Shaikh targeted mostly elderly tourists and couples who came to see Marine Drive promenade or Gateway of India.(HT File Photo)

“Atithi devo bhava” was the phrase this 27-year-old used to convince foreign tourists in Mumbai that he wanted to be their friend. Once he gained their trust, he would then invite them to have the “best cup of coffee in Mumbai” at nearby cafés. After they drank the spiked drink and fell unconscious, he would loot their valuables and flee.

One such cheap cup of coffee, however, proved to be costly for Israel citizen Metan Shalom Juria, 35. Juria had come to Mumbai for business and left his hotel on May 25 to see the Gateway of India.

He couldn’t bring himself to say no to a friendly face when the con man, who introduced himself only as Sonu, took him to a nearby restaurant and bought him coffee. Hours later, when Juria woke up, he found his wallet and passport missing.

He then approached the Marine Drive police, who registered a complaint against the man. Police began investigating, using a sketch based on Juria’s description.

They told all the police stations to keep an eye out for con men at Mumbai’s famous tourist spots. Acting on a tip-off by the Marine Drive police, the Tardeo police arrested Ayyaz Ahmed Niyaz Ahmed Shaikh on Friday. He was remanded in the Marine Drive police custody on Sunday.

More than eight cases of robbery have been registered against him. There are also cases registered against him in Agra and Hyderabad, said police.

Officers said Shaikh targeted mostly elderly tourists and couples who came to see Marine Drive promenade or Gateway of India. He befriended them, saying it was his duty to be a good host as they were India’s guests.

After they drank his spiked beverages and fainted, he would loot them. “We have arrested Shaikh. He appeared before the court and was remanded in police custody till July 12,” said an officer from the Marine Drive police station.

The police are investigating how many tourists Shaikh looted in Mumbai.