Travel agent dupes couple of over Rs. 1L
A couple’s plan to celebrate their daughter’s second birthday in Thailand turned into a nightmare after a travel agent allegedly ripped them off and ran off with an amount of over Rs. 1 lakh.
The couple — a 30-year-old accounts manager at a software company and her husband — was planning to celebrate the birthday in June this year. They wanted to make their first foreign trip memorable. So all shopping had been done, flight tickets booked and hotel rooms reserved. Or so they thought.
The family was supposed to fly to Bangkok on Saturday (June 8) but about a week ago, they found out that they had been duped by a man who posed as a director of an online travel company and charged them Rs. 1.07 lakh in March this year for a a trip to Thailand.
The suspect, identified as Sandeep Kumar Lohchab, a resident of Rohini in Delhi, is on the run, police said on Friday. A case was registered against him under section 406 (criminal breach of trust) of Indian Penal Code at Bajghera police station on Thursday night.
According to the complainant, Rashi Pandey, they were looking for a trip organiser on internet when Lohchab contacted them through a travel aggregator on March 18. She said they paid him the money in two online transactions to book flight tickets and hotel rooms for five nights and six days in Phuket and Bangkok.
“We were given a confirmed ticket,” said Pandey, a resident of a condominium in Sector 110. “In April end, we realised that the PNR he gave us had been cancelled. He told us that it happened because it was a group booking and told us not to worry. He also said that he would share the final travel details shortly,” said Pandey.
On May 4, the accused allegedly told the family that he could not take their calls as he was stuck in Shimla for a school tour and would share their details later in the day. Pandey told the police that the accused started ignoring their calls and finally switched off his phone on May 30.
“When we called the airlines, we were informed that our tickets had been cancelled by the agent without our consent or knowledge. We were also given a confirmed booking for two hotels between June 9 and 12. We sent them a mail but were informed that a booking had been done but amount was not paid,” said Pandey.
Shamsher Singh, assistant commissioner of police, said that the travel aggregator told them that the accused was registered with them but had not made any transaction for the past two years. The police found his address from the aggregator but the landlord allegedly told them that he had shifted from there two years ago.
“His landlord told us that this was not the first time that the police had come looking for him. He said that the police from different cities had been visiting them to inquire about the accused man as he might have duped others on the pretext of booking a holiday package,” he said.
Singh further said they have traced Lohchab’s family members, but he is on the run.
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