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Wary Hotels Put Staff Under Lens

After terrorists took over and held hostages in the Taj and Trident Hotels during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, rumors circulated throughout India that the terrorists had been helped by employees at the hotels, prompting Mumbai’s hospitality industry to begin running detailed background checks on employees. Private security agencies and the police are helping the industry to build this intelligence. Shashikant Shetty of Mumbai’s Ahar restaurant and bar association says it has become a norm for candidates to submit photographs, proofs of age and residence, references of people and contact numbers with the employment form. TOPS Security Company representative Brigadier Jaisinghani says his company is one of many private security firms now conducting background checks almost full time. “We check an employee’s passport, lease agreements, bank accounts, property details, previous employment records as well as permanent address,” said Jaisinghani. “These details are then passed on to other private security firms, police, and government security agencies for further verification.”

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