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.
Belgian Tourist Forced To Flee India In 24 Hours After Being Harassed By Men Who Posed As Cops https://t.co/wzupyfpLaF— Padmanabhan Jaikumar (@p_jaikumar) February 5, 2019
Dear @PMOIndia, we're aware of efrts your taking tirelessly to promote Brand India & as a tourist destination. Deeply worying.@DelhiPolice act swiftly. @MEAIndia @SushmaSwaraj we shld host that tourist as a Govt guest. Pls consider this. @narendramodi https://t.co/XXYC92L0MV— Balamurugan (@bmbalap) February 5, 2019
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.
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."
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.
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.