03:07 GMT +324 July 2019
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    Belgian Female Tourist Conned by Fake Cops in India - Reports

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    Belgian authorities contacted the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) about the crime, saying “Such incidents bring disrepute to Indians and discourage tourists to visit India.” Police later registered a case under the Delhi Prevention of Touting and Malpractices Against Tourists Act.

    Belgian tourist Esther Deleu's trip to India on 6 December lasted for less than a day but brought her face-to-face with fake "police officers and travel agents" who conned her out of her belongings, according to The Indian Express.

    ​Outlining the sequence of events, Delhi Police said that on the day of her arrival, con victim Esther took an auto-rickshaw to the hotel she booked. The vehicle allegedly took her to a parking lot with two men in uniforms claiming to be police officers.

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    The fake cops told her that she would not be able to go to her hotel as the streets were cordoned off due to protests, claiming she required police permission to proceed further. She was handed a piece of paper bearing the address of a "police centre."

    Esther was taken to the "police centre" where she encountered six "uniformed men" who showed her videos of street protests on their mobile phones. She was asked to leave Delhi immediately. She was also told to take off her gold jewellery for safety reasons.

    When she expressed concern about her hotel reservation, the fake cops made a call and claimed that her booking had been cancelled.

    The con men also talked her into accepting a more expensive hotel for $40, to which she was transported to in an auto-rickshaw. The a room had no windows nor internet access.

    She had to lock herself in because there were people knocking on the door. She later called a contact in Rishikesh who checked said her original hotel booking wasn't cancelled.

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    On getting out of the hotel, she went to the airport and took the first flight back to Belgium. It took her two months before she mustered the courage to lodge a complaint with Belgian authorities. Officials later informed India's Ministry of External Affairs and the Delhi police commissioner.

    Madhu Verma, the deputy commissioner of Delhi Police, said police have formed a special team to investigate the matter.

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    Tourist, Fraud, Police, India, Belgium
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