Heritage hotel attached by bank ravaged, items worth F12L stolen

Incident came to light after hotel owner visited property subsequent to bank’s settlement
Extensive damage was observed, including the destruction of furniture, lights, glassware, pipes, washbasins and tiles.
Extensive damage was observed, including the destruction of furniture, lights, glassware, pipes, washbasins and tiles.

KOCHI: In a shocking turn of events, a heritage hotel in Mattanchery attached by the Bank of Baroda following a loan default, was found vandalised and robbed of items worth Rs 12 lakh. The  incident unfolded after the owner of Sealine Hotels visited the property subsequent to the bank’s settlement on Friday. 

Extensive damage was observed, including the destruction of furniture, lights, glassware, pipes, washbasins and tiles. Furthermore, a large television, ornamental lights and numerous other fixtures were reported stolen.

Rinish V M, the managing director of the hotel, expressed dismay in a complaint filed with the Mattanchery police on Friday. 

“I had availed a loan of Rs 45 lakh from the Bank of Baroda. Due to the pandemic, repaying the loan became a challenge. The bank initiated proceedings under the SARFAESI Act, taking possession of the hotel in August. Despite settling the matter on Thursday, I was appalled to find theft and vandalism within the hotel,” he said.

Unfortunately, the robbery took place despite the bank appointing security staff to look after the property. “There were two security guards in charge of the safety and security of the hotel. Since it’s a heritage hotel, several things in the hotel are antique. Some miscreants have created a mess. The bank and the security agency are responsible for this. How can we find another Rs 12 lakh to restore the hotel to its old condition?” Rinish said.

The Mattanchery police station house officer confirmed receiving a complaint from the hotel owner.
“The hotel has been in the possession of the bank since August. Some anti-social elements have robbed the hotel and vandalised it after intruding into it. We have already launched a probe to nab the culprit,” said the SHO.

However, a police source revealed the security agency filed a complaint on November 27, yet the police had not taken appropriate steps to initiate a probe even after five days. Efforts to obtain a comment from the Bank of Baroda proved unsuccessful till the time of going to press.

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