Chawla Hotels CEO stole luggage at US airport for "thrill"
The CEO of Chawla Hotels, Dinesh Chawla, has been arrested for stealing luggage from the Memphis International Airport in Tennessee, United States. Strangely, after getting caught, Chawla confessed to the crime and said that he did it "for the thrill." Chawla (56) had previously partnered with the Trump Organization to bring a series of new hotels to the state of Mississippi.
He was caught stealing luggage on airport security cameras
A sworn statement by a cop revealed that, on August 18, Chawla was spotted by security cameras as he took a suitcase from the baggage claim conveyor belt at the airport, and placed it in his SUV before boarding a flight, AP reported. The police towed his vehicle and found the luggage along with another one, stolen from the same airport on July 16.
Chawla confessed saying he did it for "thrill and excitement"
Notably, Chawla was arrested on Thursday after he flew to Memphis from Orlando, Florida. The police said that Chawla confessed to the two thefts "as well as other thefts in the past." He also told an officer "that he knows stealing luggage is wrong, but he does it for the thrill and excitement," the records said, according to The New York Times.
Currently he's out on $5,000 bail; court hearing on Friday
Now, Chawla is out on a $5,000 bail and did not respond to emails seeking a comment. On Friday, he will appear for a court hearing. The contents of the suitcase stolen on August 18 are valued at $2,599, while the others' at $1,300.
Chawla Hotels was established by Dinesh's father, VK Chawla
To note, Chawla comes from a family of riches. The hotel business was established by his father, VK Chawla, who grew up in a refugee camp in Punjab, and later moved to Canada before relocating to the Mississippi Delta in the 1970s. VK dreamt of owning a hotel and had called US President Donald Trump, then a New York real estate developer, seeking a loan in the 1980s.
Chawla and his brother own 17 hotels in Mississippi
VK Chawla died in 2015, but his sons, Dinesh and Suresh, continued to run the family business together. The Chawla Hotels chain expanded to 17 hotels in Mississippi, averaging 250,000 guests a year, the NYT reported in July last year.
Chawlas and Trumps partnered to build luxury hotel; latter withdrew
More recently, the Chawla brothers were to construct a luxury hotel in Cleveland under a proposed Trump brand. The collaboration made headlines last year due to the nature of Trump's anti-immigrant policies, and the Chawla family being immigrants in the US. Trump's sons- Donald Trump Jr. and Eric- however, later withdrew from the joint venture in February citing "harassment" from Democrats.