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Hotelier hits out at immigrants' fax booking scam

08 February 2001
Hotelier hits out at immigrants' fax booking scam

The boss of a small London hotel group has spoken of his anger about would-be immigrants using faxes indicating bookings at his hotels to gain entry into the UK.

For the past year Paul Grindrod has been receiving about a dozen faxes or e-mails each week from Eastern Europeans, Indians, Pakistanis and Nepalese wanting information about his hotels.

He is director of the Grange Lodge and Abbey Lodge, both in Ealing, and the Chelsea Lodge, in Chelsea. They each have 20 bedrooms.

Grindrod said: "These people come into the country; immigration stops them and asks them for their proof of stay in the UK; they show them confirmation of their hotel, but they never stay there."

He has become so fed up with receiving the requests for information that he has started to ignore them. If he does respond, he tells them it is not his policy to take a reservation without a credit card guarantee.

He said: "I end up holding the rooms for nothing. They see me as an easy target. I am being used as a means to an end."

He added: "I am bored with it but I can't see it stopping."

by Louise Bozec

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