‘Felt vulnerable’: American tourist bullied, duped of Rs 90,000 by touts in Delhi
An alleged tout was arrested on Monday following a complaint by George Vanmeter - the American tourist - as he had provided the details of the cab in which he was driven to Agra.Updated: Oct 22, 2019 09:17 IST
An American tourist was bullied, threatened and duped of 1,294 US dollars (Rs 91,734) by members of a gang who picked him up from Delhi airport on his arrival on Friday. He was taken to Agra in a cab after being promised a tour of the Golden Triangle -- Delhi, Agra, Jaipur — and was brought back to Delhi, where he reportedly jumped out of the car and approached the police.
In his complaint to the police, George Vanmeter said as soon as he came out of the airport terminal, a man approached him and offered to drop him at his hotel in Paharganj for Rs 400.
“But when they reached near Connaught Place, the driver pointed to the police barricades on the road and told Vanmeter that this part of the city was blocked due to festivities. The driver then dialled someone who posed as an official from the Paharganj hotel and told the victim that the hotel had been closed due to the festivities,” said Eish Singhal, deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi).
The driver then took Vanmeter to a tourist office where a man offered to arrange a room in another hotel for $450. The two men and their other associates then allegedly offered to take Vanmeter on a trip on the Golden Triangle for $1,294.
Vanmeter, in his complaint to the police, said that all through his stay in the tourist office, he felt “vulnerable and outnumbered”. He said the men didn’t allow him to use his mobile phone to check Google Maps to even check his location.Vanmeter said he had no choice but to pay the money using his credit card even though he wasn’t keen to go on the trip.
Vanmeter was taken to Agra in a Swift Dzire and brought back to Delhi on Sunday. He had asked his driver to drop him at the airport, but when he realised that they weren’t going to the airport, Vanmeter checked Google Maps to realise he was in Gole Market.
As they drove in an alley, Vanmeter noticed two policemen. He opened the car door, threw his bags out and jumped out before running towards the policemen and seeking their help.
A case of cheating was registered at Mandir Marg police station. An alleged tout, 45-year-old Ram Preet, was subsequently arrested on Monday since Vanmeter provided the details of the cab in which he was driven to Agra. The police are looking for other suspects.