The Colaba police recently registered a case of theft after a Japanese man was robbed of his bag by a tour guide in Colaba. The robber is yet to be arrested.
The Japanese national, identified as Nato Sonbe, said in his complaint that he had arrived in Delhi from Nepal on February 4. After seeing the sights in Delhi, Varanasi and other cities, he arrived in Mumbai by the Rajdhani Express on February 16.
An officer from Colaba police station, who did not wish to be named, said, “[Sonbe] was staying at Hotel Kalapi at Fort, which falls under the jurisdiction of MRA Marg police station. The following day, he left his hotel at 8.50am and was at the Gateway of India when he met the guide, whose name he doesn’t remember. The two even drank a cup of tea near Apollo hotel.”
The Japanese man hired a cab for the day and the two went to Siddivinayak temple and Haji Ali.
“Around 4pm, after sightseeing the whole day, they left for the hotel. Sonbe fell asleep in the taxi, during which time his bag went missing. He realised this only after reaching his hotel room, by when both the taxi and tour guide had left. The man told the hotel manager about the incident and was brought to MRA police station, where a case was registered before being transferred to Colaba police station,” added the officer.
“When the complainant arrived at the police station, we had to ask a tour guide to translate his words for us as he doesn’t speak English very well,” he officer said.
In his statement to the police, Sonbe said that he doesn’t remember anything as he was in a semi-conscious state at the time. He told the police he didn’t know if the guide had given him food or drink spiked with a sedative.
The police have since scrutinised CCTV footage from the area where the two met, near Hotel Apollo, but in vain. They have also questioned several tour guides who operate around Gateway of India. Despite a description of the tour guide from Sonbe, they have been unable to identify him.
A case has been registered under Section 379 (theft) of the Indian penal Code. Sonbe has since left the city, according to the manager of Hotel Kalapi.