He checked into five-star hotels but never checked out | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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He checked into five-star hotels but never checked out

The 50-year-old con artist, with a history of duping some of the swishest hotels in India, has been convicted in 16 cases and done eight years in jail time. On Sunday, he was arrested for defrauding a Navi Mumbai hotel.

mumbai Updated: May 16, 2012 10:33 IST
G. Mohiuddin Jeddy

V Wilson John is back in jail.

The 50-year-old con artist, with a history of duping some of the swishest hotels in India, has been convicted in 16 cases and done eight years in jail time. On Sunday, he was arrested for defrauding a Navi Mumbai hotel.

In his latest job, John hit the Supreme Heritage hotel in Vashi’s Sector 19. And he used the same formula that he has employed at hotels across the countryside — his targets have included such marquee names as the Taj, JW Marriott, the President and the Leela group.

Inspector D.D. Tele, APMC police station, Vashi, said: “He phones the hotel and tells them that Deepak Stephen, a top official of Asia Agro Chemicals, will be staying with them for two days. He arrives the next day, looking very much like a top executive.”

“Once there, he gains the trust of the staff and tells them he’s arranging a conference in the hotel for around 30 people. He asks them for a laptop and a CD projector – and disappears with them early in the morning,” Tele added.

John followed the script at the Supreme Heritage as well. He checked in on September 17. The next day, he took a laptop and CD projector from the hotel.

Tele said: “At 7.30 am, he left the hotel with the laptop and projector worth Rs 75,000 — of course, without paying his bills. When leaving, he told the staff that his luggage was still in the room. When he didn’t return, they found only old newspapers in his bag in the room,” said Tele.

The hotel’s security cameras had captured John’s pictures.

Tele said: “We circulated his picture to all hotels. Luckily, he went to a Byculla hotel that belonged to the Supreme Heritage group, whose management found him suspicious and called us.”

“He’s been doing this for years. Once arrested, he spends around a year in jail, comes out and then hits another hotel. This is how he makes a living,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Dudhe.