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Hotel freeloader in cop net

A 40-year-old man who stayed at a star hotel in the heart of the city for two weeks and left without paying the bills was arrested on Sunday at a spa in a New Town hotel.

Police said they learnt after arresting Vikas Berry, alias Vikas Brar, that he had stayed at another hotel in New Town three months back and left without paying.

In all three cases, the Prince Anwar Shah Road resident introduced himself as a senior executive of a private company and produced fake emails stating that the management would foot his bill.

“Vikas Berry, who had quit a call centre job three months ago, created fake email accounts in the names of two private companies,” said a police officer.

Vikas allegedly sent an email from one of the fake accounts to The Park, saying he would put up at the Park Street address from December 6 to January 3. The mail, which “identified” Vikas as a general manager, said the company would pay the bill.

Vikas had checked in on December 6 and slipped out unnoticed on December 21.

The next day the hotel staff called him several times on the cell phone number he had mentioned in the hotel register but he allegedly did not answer.

“Vikas called the hotel from a landline and said he had to leave because of an emergency. He told the hotel authorities that his company’s Mumbai branch would clear the dues, which amounted to Rs 2.5 lakh,” the police officer said.

When no one came forward to clear the bills, the hotel management contacted the company’s Mumbai office with a copy of Vikas’s passport which he had produced while checking in.

“The company checked the photograph in the passport and told the hotel that Vikas was not on its staff. An inquiry revealed that the passport, too, was forged. The hotel then lodged a complaint with Park Street police station,” the officer said.

“Providing room on the basis of an email communication is a usual practice,” said a spokesperson for the hotel. “He left without paying the bill. We lodged a complaint on Saturday. The police have done a commendable job by arresting him so quickly.”

Sleuths said they did not face much of a problem in tracking down Vikas because of a “mistake” he had committed. “He called the The Park authorities after leaving the hotel from a landline. The number belongs to a New Town hotel. We contacted the hotel authorities, who identified the accused as Vikas Brar, who had checked in on December 22,” said another officer. He was picked up from the hotel in the middle of a spa session.

Bombs found

Police found 13 bombs from a vat off Tollygunge Road on Sunday. The search was initiated after a bomb exploded in the area on Saturday.