A journalist accompanying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on her trip to London was fined £50 (around Rs 4,300) after security staff caught him stealing silverware at the hotel where the group was staying, Outlook reported on Tuesday.

Some other journalists are believed to have stealthily kept cutlery in their bags during the official dinner at the luxury hotel. But when security staff told them that their act was caught on CCTV cameras, they kept them back on the table, embarrassed.

One journalist, however, insisted he had not stolen anything. He was not aware that the CCTV cameras had caught him putting his stolen cutlery into a fellow journalist’s bag. At this point, the hotel staff threatened to report him to the police, but they let him off with the £50 fine after he finally confessed.

His newspaper confirmed the incident to Outlook: “It’s true.”

The magazine has not named the journalists or the media houses they work for. A Bengali news website that named some of them later took down its report.

The date of the dinner is not clear. Banerjee last visited London in November.

Before telling the journalists that CCTV cameras caught their act, security staff had debated whether they should raise an alarm, according to Outlook. But they were reluctant to do so as it was an official dinner with a foreign dignitary.

Prominent politicians, industrialists and journalists from both India and the United Kingdom were present at the dinner table. The Indian journalists included senior editors and reporters sent by their organisations.

A senior journalist with a “respected Bengali newspaper”, who reportedly goes with Banerjee on her foreign tours regularly, was the first to pick up a set of dessert spoons and put it in his pocket. Another journalist, who was part of the delegation, confirmed this to Outlook.

Some other journalists followed suit. “They possibly thought that the cameras wouldn’t be working anyway, as is often the case in Bengal,” a journalist was quoted as saying.