Online hotel operations come under police scrutiny

Hyderabad: An increase in the misuse of hotel rooms booked online has prompted the Hyderabad City Police to call hotels to the table to stop the violation of the law in these hotel rooms.

There have been several cases in the city recently, where police raided hotel chain rooms online and found that rooms booked on the internet were being misused for gambling and even trading flesh.

“Because there is not much interaction between management or proper oversight on the accommodation, people are checking in and engaging in illegal activities,” a police official said.

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Following complaints from locals, police have in the past raided a few rooms of apartments rented from such hotel room operators and arrested people for carrying out illegal activities.

“For hotels and lodges, it is mandatory that the management approach the authorities concerned and obtain various authorizations before starting their activity. Online hotel room operators fail to notify the police resulting in misuse of their properties,” the official said.

City Police Commissioner CV Anand, following several complaints and police cases, now plans to hold a meeting with managements and property owners to explain the need to check luggage, maintain visitor logs and provide information. install CCTV cameras for surveillance.

“People come in right after booking a room online. It’s quite risky and a threat. Already in several cases, police teams have arrested people for illegal activities in these rooms and sealed the premises. Management must support us to keep society safe and secure,” he said.

Officials say keeping a record of who books rooms online and who checks in will make it easier to detect any illegal activity or crime. Surveillance cameras will also have a deterrent effect on criminals, they believe.

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