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Bangladeshi convicted for killing wife, daughters in UK

  • Published at 11:01 am November 1st, 2019
WEB_Court verdict

On January 1, 2007, UK police broke into the convict's home and found the bodies

A UK court has convicted a Bangladeshi man for killing his wife and two daughters in London.

Mohammed Abdul Shakur was found guilty in London's Old Bailey court on Thursday.

Specialist Crime investigator at Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Amjad Sharif said: “I would like to thank our international policing counterparts in Bangladesh and India, and especially the Foreign and Commonwealth representatives, who assisted us so well in circulating Shakur as a wanted man, and later informing us when he was located.

“This is a prime example of the good that can come from international law enforcement working together as a unit to catch criminals."

He added: "Finally, Shakur will serve a substantial custodial sentence for the horrific crimes he committed.” 

On January 1, 2007, police broke into Shakur's family home in East London's East Ham, as no one in the neighbourhood saw or heard from his wife Juli Begum, 26, Thanha Kanum, 6, and Anika Khanum, 5, for around 10 days.

Thanha and Anika were also reported to have not resumed school after the Christmas break. On the same day, police found their bodies concealed under a duvet in a rear bedroom. 

The autopsy report showed that Juli was initially inconclusive but later ruled to be consistent with asphyxiation. Thanha’s cause of death was recorded head trauma, while Anika was killed by strangulation with a ligature.

Detective Sharif said: “We will likely never be able to find Shakur's reason to end the lives of his wife and two daughters so violently and callously.

 “Now, I am happy that we have finally achieved justice for Juli, her daughters, and her family. I would like to thank them for their unwavering support throughout."

The court was told that 45-year-old Shakur and Juli had an arranged marriage in Bangladesh in October, 1999. 

She had sponsored his immigration visa but incidents of domestic conflict started just a few months into the marriage.

Metropolitan Police detectives launched a murder investigation and Shakur was quickly identified as a suspect. Detectives established that Shakur visited the Bangladeshi High Commission in London to obtain a passport on the same day of killing. The following day, he went to a travel agent and ordered a one-way ticket to Bangladesh.

Enquiries to trace and arrest Shakur were undertaken in Bangladesh and India, following the information of his hiding in the Assam. Contact was made with a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) representative in New Delhi, who informed local police of the Met’s interest in Shakur.

In May 2013, the FCO representative called UK detectives to inform that Shakur was arrested for illegal stay in India. It was suggested that he had been crossing back and forth between Bangladesh and India on a regular basis for work.

On April 6 this year, formal extradition proceedings with India ended with Shakur's arrest.

A statement from the victims’ family said: "Shakur destroyed our family. He took away a caring, loving mother, and the future of two young beautiful girls. We had nightmares thinking about how their lives might have ended, and what each of them witnessed in their final moments. 

“Shakur’s final act of cowardice was fleeing to Bangladesh, which delayed the justice. However, he is set to get the deserving punishment."