An all women’s group booked an international holiday package to Dubai via a travel agent last month. They made all the payments and collected all necessary documents to ensure that their first international trip would be smooth and hassle-free. However when they reached Dubai, they were stranded for a night with no place to go. The travel agent allegedly took the money from the women for the rooms, but never made the bookings.
Police said the travel agent, Sahil Narang, and his associate, Vinay Pandey — who were on the run — were arrested on Thursday under charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust.
According to police, they had registered a case against the accused after the son of one of the women in the group filed an FIR at Saket police station.
According to the FIR, Sahil allegedly booked three rooms in a hotel in Dubai for the women for which he charged Rs 94,500.
The complainant, Nikhil Chanana, stated, “Sahil claimed he was running a travel agency and will get us good accommodation at affordable rates in Dubai. We transferred the money to his account in two installments. He assured us that he is an authorised dealer of the hotel and that we need to pay the entire amount to him and nothing to the hotel. For the convenience of the women, the money was paid.”
However when the group landed in Dubai, they went to the hotel and found that no room was booked in their names.
“They were shocked when the hotel authorities told them that no payment has been made for any room. The hotel authorities told them that the agent had tried making a payment through his credit card which was declined and the rooms were not booked,” the FIR stated.
The women then reportedly tried to find a new hotel but no rooms were available in any of the good ones. “It was very difficult for them to find a new hotel and they were forced to wander around Dubai late at night. They also had to hire cabs at high prices to hunt for hotels,” the FIR stated.
The women later found a hotel for which they paid Rs 25,000 a day. Meanwhile, Nikhil tried to contact the agent but he did not receive his calls.
“After the women returned to Delhi, Nikhil filed a case against Sahil whose office was then raided. Sahil, who reportedly made the fake bookings along with his associates, was on the run but he was traced and apprehended last week. Investigation is on to ascertain the number of people the agents have cheated so far,” a senior police officer said.