Cab driver convinces US national Delhi is shut, dupes him of $1,294

In his complaint, Vanmeter alleged that the taxi driver offered to take him to Boom Rooms hotel in Paharganj, where he already had a booking, but later stopped near a road with police barricades.

A 45-year-old taxi driver was arrested for allegedly cheating an American tourist of $1,294 in the capital last week. Police said the victim, George Vanmeter, who reached IGI airport on October 18, was allegedly convinced by the accused and his accomplices that “Delhi was shut due to festive season” and taken to a fake travel agency where he was made to re-book his tour plans.

In his complaint, Vanmeter alleged that the taxi driver offered to take him to Boom Rooms hotel in Paharganj, where he already had a booking, but later stopped near a road with police barricades.

“He told the tourist that roads are blocked due to the festive season and took him to a fake tour agency in Connaught Place. Staff there told him that the city was closed and even connected him to a ‘representative of the hotel’ who told him that the hotel was closed,” said Eish Singhal, DCP (New Delhi).

Though Vanmeter was not convinced, he boarded another taxi whose driver reiterated that the hotel is closed. “The accused then took the tourist to another fake tour agency in Gole Market where the staff helped the man book hotels in Jaipur and Agra,” said Singhal.

Vanmeter paid $1,294 with his credit card and went to Agra. The fraud came to light after he reached Agra and called Boom Rooms hotel for a refund, only to be informed that they were open. A case of cheating was registered at Mandir Marg police station.

“We identified the first taxi driver who was arrested from his house in Geeta Colony. The other accused are absconding,” said a senior police officer.