Three people have been arrested for their involvement in a crime ring involved in kidnapping and robbing expatriates from the Dhaka airport.
The arrests were made by the Uttara Division of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Detective Branch during an investigation of two such robberies, reports bdnews24.com.
The criminals would target expatriates who were in Bangladesh for a brief visit, pretending to drive them in their vehicles. Once their victims were on board, they would reveal their weapons and hold them hostage. At other times, they used sedatives to knock their victims unconscious, steal their belongings and then dump them outside Dhaka.
The arrestees were identified as Md Masudul Haq Apel, Amir Hossain Howladar and Md Shameem. They were arrested at Hatirjheel on Saturday night.
Law enforcers recovered five passports, two NID cards, two ATM cards, one iPad, a work permit card, a BMET card, an office ID, steel knives and approximately Tk 55,000 from the robbers’ possession.
“On Sept 7, Md Liton Sarker returned to Bangladesh aboard a Turkish Airlines flight from Egypt after five years,” said Hafiz Akhtar, DB additional commissioner, at a press conference on Sunday afternoon.
“He landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and was waiting for a vehicle underneath the pedestrian footbridge by the roundabout.”
“At this time, a group of five to six unidentified men stole his handbag and luggage after threatening him at knifepoint. The baggage included his passport, the visa for Egypt, his airline ticket, gold chains weighing eight annas, two mobile sets, a smartcard, his clothes and about Tk 40,000.”
The men then forced him onto their vehicle and threatened him not to tell anyone about the incident. A case was filed over the incident on Oct 15.
“On Oct 5, Omar Sharif arrived in Dhaka from Britain. He was kidnapped from the airport area on his way to Natore’s Boraigram. He was then released outside Dhaka after they stole his luggage and passport.”
The Detective Branch launched their investigation after cases were filed separately over the two incidents and arrested three members of the robbery ring.
“The arrestees used various strategies for their robberies. They would particularly target those expatriates who were coming from abroad and were waiting for their cars. They would pretend to strike up friendships with them before analysing the situation and robbing them of their valuables after threatening them with weapons.”
They would also mix sedatives into drinks they offered their victims to knock them out, he said.
“Our interrogation has revealed that they have been involved in over 50 thefts in the airport area in the past year. Several cases have been filed over the incidents.”
There were seven cases against Masudul, the ringleader, he said.
“Only seven cases were filed over the incidents despite over 50 robberies,” Hafiz Akhtar said. “This is because the expatriates were often in a hurry to return abroad and did not want to get involved in a case. Others were only in Bangladesh for a short visit. They took advantage of this to target expatriates.”