Rab arrested three persons so far for their alleged involvement in the abduction.
Rab Media and Legal Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan made the disclosure at a press briefing yesterday afternoon organised over the harrowing tale of Mahbub’s abduction at its Karwan Bazar media centre in the capital.
In the briefing he said: “We detained three members of the criminal gang involved in abductions of Bangladeshi citizens in Malaysia, in order to extract ransom from their relatives.”
The detainees were identified as Ali Ahmed Rifat (29), hailed from Comilla, Dulal (40), and Rupchad Ali (25), hailed from Tangail.
Mahmud said: “We detained Rifat at the wee hours of Sunday from Malibagh area in Dhaka, following information extracted from Dulal and Rupchand who were detained from Moghbazar area in the capital on November 28 when they came to collect the ransom.”
Mahbub, son of late Abul Kashem of Bhola, was present at the press briefing along with his two brothers. He has been living in Malaysia for the last nine years. He works as a cleaner there for livelihood.
At the briefing, Mahbub said: “I was sleeping at my room on that night. All of a sudden two Malaysian claiming themselves as police members awoke me and asked me to go with them to the police station. As soon as we came out of the building they shoved me into a car and blindfolded me.”
They took Mahbub to a forest where the abductees handed him over to another group. The group shoved him into another car, and took him deep into the forest where he was kept captive in a house.
“The abductees tortured me there; forced me to call my family members over the phone to tell them to pay the demanded ransom as soon as possible,” the expatriate said.
Mahbub broke down into tears while describing his immeasurable sufferings during captivity, creating an emotional atmosphere at the briefing. His brothers also started crying when Mahbub was describing how he was tortured.
At the briefing, a weeping Mahbub said: “They tortured me severely to make sure that my family members in the country pay the ransom. The more delay my family made, the more brutal their torture became. Their torture was so terrible that at times, I wished to die to get rid of the agony.”
“At first, the abductors demanded Tk10 lakh from his family; and after much bargaining finally agreed to release the captive at Tk3 lakh, to be paid to their agents in Dhaka. As Mahbub’s brothers failed to arrange the money, they contacted us to save their brother’s life,” said Rab official Mufti Mahmud.
He said: “We took the matter seriously and immediately contacted Bangladesh embassy in Malaysia and Malaysian embassy in Dhaka. The Malaysian police took immediate action after being informed by us, and rescued Mahbub in a critically ill state from a dense forest of Malaysian state of Pahang. He was rushed to a Malaysian hospital and brought back to Bangladesh this (Sunday) morning.”
In reply to a query, he said we are yet to be informed whether Malaysian Police have arrested anybody in this connection. We have not got any formal reply from them. But we have learnt that they had interrogated three to four persons.
Mufti said Julhas from Tangail, Jahangir Alam Kamal and Faruk Sarkar from Comilla, Touhidul Islam from Dinajpur and many others were involved in the abduction.
Besides, RAB has learnt about a number of gangs that being backed by their Malaysian accomplices operate their criminal activities, abducting Bangladeshi expatriates there and extort ransom from their family members in Bangladesh.
Informing that Rab will conduct continuous drives against them; the media wing director called upon the people to immediately contact them if they are asked to pay ransom over the phone to free their dear ones from captivity in abroad.