False ‘meet & greet’ with Team India leaves Sydney eatery in a spot

Sydney, Jan 5 (IANS) A popular Indian restaurant in Sydney has been left in an uncomfortable position as it fears that over 200 “upset” people will be at its door on Tuesday night after they paid a scammer up to $550 each for a “non-existent dinner” with the Indian cricket team currently in Australia.
According to a report in Daily Telegraph Australia, the fraudster left flyers on cars parked at the Sydney Cricket Ground — venue for the third Test — during the last ODI and promoted a “meet & greet with the Indian cricket team” at Manjits Wharf on Tuesday January 5 from 6-10.30 p.m. (local time).
However, the restaurant’s owners told the publication that the promoter did not pay a full $5,000 deposit and missed meetings arranged to discuss the menu, decorations and timings for the said event.
As the restaurant provides all meals for the Indian players when they are in Sydney, Manjits, situated on Lime Street, found out that the Indian team won’t be there on the said date, thus becoming clear that the promoter was running a rort.
The scam was reported to the police, as well as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ScamWatch service, said Manjits General Manager Deep Gujral.
“I don’t know what further to do,” Gujral said. “I’m expecting 200 people at the front door if not more — who knows how many people he stopped at.”
He further said that the Indian players had been warned not to go to the eatery on Tuesday evening.
NSW Police also confirmed it was a “fraudulent event” and urged people who had paid the scammer to get in touch.
As per the report, the promoter is known to be based in Australia because he part-paid the deposit in-person.
Cricket Australia’s security was alerted to the flyer after concerns such an event could breach bio-security protocols but instantly became suspicious the advertisement was a hoax.
Through a statement on their Facebook page, Manjits apologised to any customers who feel slighted by the incident.
“Unfortunately, we may have been part of a scam with a booking to meet the Indian Cricket Team at Manjits via an external booking organiser. We truly feel with anyone that has also been scammed with ticket purchases,” the statement read.
Recently, five Indian players — Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini — were put in isolation after both the Australian and Indian cricket boards launched an investigation into a video showing them sitting indoors in a restaurant in Melbourne last Friday.
However, on Monday, the Covid-19 results of the quintet, alongwith other Indian players and support staff, returned negative and after that they flew to Sydney where the third Test of the ongoing four-match series is scheduled to begin from Thursday.

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