Rabat - Marrakech’s luxurious Mamounia hotel caught on to a tourist who forged a letter from the Moroccan royal couple.
Rabat – Marrakech’s luxurious Mamounia hotel caught on to a tourist who forged a letter from the Moroccan royal couple.
Before coming to Marrakech, the tourist made a six-person reservation for a week-long stay at Mamounia, between August 18-25, a stay that would cost MAD 200,000.
Upon arrival at the hotel, however, the tourist and his friends paid MAD 20,000 as an advance, promising to pay the rest “ as soon as possible.”
When asked on the following day to pay the balance, the man, who holds both Brazilian and Portuguese passports, reportedly produced a number of Portuguese and Brazilian bank cards.
But the hotel could only retrieve MAD 63,000 from the bank cards. The man then promised to pay the remaining sum on the following day.
Unable to pay the totality of his hotel fees, the tourist pretended to be a contact of King Mohammed VI. He assured the hotel that the King had given him a letter requesting that the tourist be given preferential treatment.
According to Le 360, the man spent many hours on the Royal Palace website on the night of August 22. He reportedly downloaded information related to royal protocol, ranging from King Mohammed VI and Princess Lalla Salma’s signatures to the general content of the King’s official letters.
The tourist then allegedly sent the information he downloaded to graphic designer friends in Sao Paulo, Brazil, instructing them to replicate a letter, signed by the King, that the man be given special treatment by the hotel in Marrakech.
On August 23, the tourist presented the forgery to hotel management, pretending that it was from the royal couple.
Doubting the authenticity of the letter, the hotel management reported the tourist to the Marrakech police department.
The police launched an investigation and summoned the suspect on August 24.
The police established that the man was a known imposter wanted by Brazilian law enforcement for similar crimes he had committed in the South American country.
The case was transferred to the Marrakech justice court, where the suspect is awaiting a trial scheduled for October 24. Meanwhile, the city’s judicial authorities have placed a travel ban on the man and confiscated his two passports.
Identity theft and forged letters are not news to Marrakech’s luxurious hotel establishments and restaurants.
In March, the wife of the French president, Bridgitte Macron, lodged a legal complaint of identity theft. Macron’s complaint included a Moroccan luxurious hotel which had received a supposed email from her, requesting that her nephew be warmly received at the airport and given special treatment during his stay at the hotel.