A wireless message was flashed and look-out circulars issued at the international airport to detain the suspects

Two French software engineers, who allegedly duped an Iranian woman of her belongings and damaged her household appliances in Greater Kailash-I here, have been arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Complainant Shima Zarefad, who is learning Bharatanatyam at a dance school in Katwaria Sarai, has been living in a rented accommodation in Greater Kailash. She came to India in September 2009.

Ms. Zarefad lodged a complaint with the police on August 27 alleging that Maximilien Sottile (23) and Khalid Abdaim (23) stayed in her flat while she was on a holiday back home from June 1 to August 26. They had come to India for internship as part of their post-graduation studies in France. Both parties arrived at an agreement that the French nationals would stay at Ms. Zarefad’s flat, for which they would pay rent, electricity bills and bear other related expenses. Accordingly, they moved in on May 15 and shared the accommodation with her till June 1, for which they paid half the rent. The next month, they paid the rent, but did not pay for the electricity. The duo allegedly did not pay the house rent for July and August. They were supposed to stay in the flat till September 1, but vacated the premises before she arrived.

When she returned on Sunday, she was shocked to discover that the flat had been ransacked and her household appliances damaged. Her digital camcorder, a hard drive, Bharatanatyam costumes and several other articles were missing.

“They damaged the fridge door, bathroom toilets, floor tiles, pots and plants on terrace and cupboard locks, besides other things. The only document they left behind was an e-ticket mentioning a flight from Delhi to Bangkok on August 25 and return ticket on September 9. Enquiries revealed that the e-ticket was forged. Instead, they had booked a flight to Kathmandu for departure on Friday.”

The police registered a case and zeroed in on the French nationals. A wireless message was flashed and look-out circulars issued at the international airport to detain the suspects. A team was also deployed at the airport.

They were intercepted at the immigration desk while they are in the process of boarding a flight. During interrogation, they purportedly disclosed that they had put up a message on social networking website Facebook seeking help in finding an accommodation on a monthly rent up to Rs.35,000, with a pre-condition that no broker would be entertained.

Ms. Zarefad responded offering her flat for Rs.26,000 for the duration, during which she was to visit her country. The accused confessed to having taken away the belongings of the complainant and damaging her appliances.

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