Four high-end hotels in Mumbai on Wednesday received threat e-mail, demanding Rs 7 crore within 24 hours, or else the hotels will be blown off with bomb, with its sender claiming to be a member of the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Hotel Leela (Andheri), Hotel Princess, Hotel Park and Hotel Ramada Inn(all the three located at Juhu, Vile Parle West) in North West Mumbai and Seven Eleven Club ( Mira Road), near Mumbai, received the threat mails, following which they were thoroughly checked. However, nothing suspicious was found during the check.
“After the police were told about the threat mails, security was beefed up at these hotels. The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) checked the hotels, but nothing suspicious was found in them,” the official said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operation) Pranay Ashok said, “The anti-sabotage check of these hotels was conducted in the presence of the local police. But nothing suspicious was found there. The sender of e mail is being traced, he added.
Former BJP MLA who owns the Seven Eleven Club, said that he received the threat on hotel’s e mail. The e mail stated that “we were prepared to become martyrs. But if innocent people die, you will be responsible Deputy superintendent of police, Mira Road, Shantaram Walvi, said a former MLA and his hotel in the area also received the emails. The subject of the emails read: “Lashkar-e-Taiba wants management of your hotel”. The police said the sender demanded bitcoins as ransom. “We rushed a team of ATS and BDDS to the hotel and intensified security arrangement there,” Walvi said.
The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) and crime branch officials are conducting parallel inquiries. However, a crime branch official said the email appears to be a hoax. The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) has been deployed in the premises of the hotels.
The emails that most of the Mumbai hotels received were generated by their websites after the sender wrote the threat messages in the comments section. Joint commissioner of police, Santosh Rastogi, said, “Four five-star hotels in the western suburbs have received threat emails and we are looking into it.” A senior ATS officer said they are trying to trace the sender.
In the meanwhile the Mumbai Police have beefed up security in five-star hotels located near the international airport and in Andheri, Juhu, Santacruz and Mira Road after a few of them received emails from an unknown sender threatening a bomb blast by Lashkar-e-Taiba.