French backpacker Arthur Angé travelled to the southeastern Bangladeshi district of Bandarban from Dhaka before he disappeared in late January, the French Embassy has confirmed.
He was initially thought to have gone missing from Dhaka on January 26 but his family and friends recently came across a photo of him, believed to have been taken in Thanchi, a Bandarban town bordering Myanmar.
Arthur's cousin Maeva told the Dhaka Tribune that the photo was taken on January 28 and that he was planning to travel to Alikodom before going to Cox's Bazar.
The French Embassy in Dhaka reportedly obtained this photo, showing him posing in a selfie with four unidentified young men, who appear to be Bangladeshis.
French Ambassador Sophie Aubert confirmed Maeva's account.
“We have the photo where he is seen with other persons. We sent it to the family,” Sophie said in an e-mail response to the Dhaka Tribune's queries.
Arthur, a landscaper with a passion for travelling, was planning to go to Malaysia from Bangladesh to meet a friend there.
He last communicated with one of his friends on January 27 and said he expected to be in Chittagong by January 29.
Ambassador Sophie said the Bangladesh Home Ministry had mobilised its agencies to help them locate Arthur. “We are in regular contact with the Home ministry at different levels,” she added.
The French Embassy has been looking for Arthur with the Home Ministry's help. On April 18, the embassy told the Dhaka Tribune that they had found Arthur's Facebook Messenger account active and were trying to communicate with him.
“Unfortunately, so far we haven't been able to find Arthur Angé.” Ambassador Sophie said.