A youth, who had played under-19 cricket for Haryana and also claims to have represented Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has been arrested for allegedly duping the Taj Palace Hotel here of over Rs 5 lakhs in July 2022, a Delhi Police official said on Wednesday.
The accused was identified as Mrinank Singh, 25, a resident of Haryana's Faridabad and his victims of fraud includes cricketer Rishabh Pant, as well as multiple luxury hotels owners and managers across India whom he had duped impersonating a senior IPS officer of Karnataka.
His arrest comes after a complaint from the Director of Security, Taj Palace Hotel at the Chanakyapuri police station last August, alleging that Singh, who presented himself as a cricketer, stayed in the hotel from July 22-29, 2022 and he left the hotel without settling bills of Rs 5,53,362. Asked for the payment, he told that his company Adidas would be doing it.
"Accordingly, hotel bank details were shared with him. He even shared the UTR number of online transaction of Rs two lakh. Immediately, the same was checked in the system of the hotel and found that no payment was made by him," Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, Ravi Kant Kumar said.
Thereafter, Singh and his manager, Gagan Singh, were contacted on their mobiles for payment and "Singh said that he would be sending his driver with cash to clear the outstanding amount but no one reached the hotel. He was contacted several times to clear the outstanding payments but every time, made false statements and promises and always provided wrong information", he added.
During investigation, notice under Section 41A Cr.P.C. was sent to Singh's address but he was not found present there.
"He was taking all measures to evade police investigation. His mobile phone remained in switched off mode and most of his communications were on social media platforms or internet chatting applications. His acquaintances were made to believe that he is not in India and has now settled in Dubai," the Additional DCP said.
Subsequently,a non-bailable warrant was issued against him by the local court and a look out-circular was also issued in order to apprehend and arrest him in case he attempts to fly out of the country.
"On Monday, he was detained at IGI Airport by immigration officials as his LOC was already in place, while he was trying to fly to Hong Kong and he was handed over to police," the Additional DCP said.
During his detention at IGI Airport, Singh also made another attempt to influence immigration officials by making a phone call to senior police officials, posing as Karnataka ADGP Alok Kumar, and seeking assistance in helping his son, who has been illegally detained at IGI Airport, Delhi.
"On interrogation, he repeatedly tried to misled police, claiming that his father Ashok Kumar Singh, who has also been an international cricket player for India in 1980s to late 1990s, is presently working as Manager in Air India and posted at IGI Airport," said Kumar.
Cheating Rishabh Pant and duping multiple luxury hotels
Singh also revealed that he has duped multiple luxury resorts/hotels of lacs of rupees citing himself as ADGP, Karnataka and on several occasions, used his stardom as IPL cricketer to influence them and stay for multiple days and leave without clearing their dues on the false promise of paying them later.
"From the prima facie analysis of his mobile phone, it was revealed that there are multiple victims of his fraud and impersonation and duped amount runs into several lakhs of rupees. His victims include hotels, bars, restaurants, girls, cab drivers, small eating outlets among others," the Additional CP said.
"Pant was also conned by him to the tune of Rs 1.63 crores in 2020-2021. Initial analysis of his mobile phone revealed his acquaintance with young female models/girls and contains multiple videos and photographs, some of them highly objectionable," he added.
Singh was produced before the court and two days police custody obtained.