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Scammer cheats family of Chawkbazar fire victim

  • Published at 01:04 am February 24th, 2019
Chawkbazar Fire
File photo: Haji Wahed Mansion at Nandan Kumar Lane, in Chawkbazar's Churihatta area of Old Dhaka, engulfed in a massive fire on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

It is still unclear whether they were victims of the Chawkbazar fire incident on Wednesday, says police

A scammer cashed in on the Chawkbazar fire incident by cheating a family.

“Your daughter is with us. If you want her back, send Tk1,00,000 now,” said a scammer via a phone call which created some hope for Md Jashim Uddin for his missing daughter.

Fatema Tuz Johra Bristy, 19, along with one of her friend Rehnuma Tarannum Dola, 19, were returning home from a program organized by  Bangladesh Abrity Somonnoy Parishad – to honour lawmakers Asaduzzaman Noor and Suborna Mustafa for receiving Ekushey Padak – at Shilpakala Academy.

It is still unclear whether they were victims of the Chawkbazar fire incident on Wednesday, said police.

After being cheated, Jashim went to Lalbagh police station to report the incident. 

The scammer claimed that Bristy was in their custody. Jashim wanted to talk to his daughter first before sending any money but he was asked to wire Tk50,000 to a mobile account. After he sent the money, the number was switched off, said police citing Jashim.

Md Jashim Uddin could not be reached for comment.

After receiving the complaint, Lalbagh police began their search for the fraudster.

Duty officer of Lalbagh police station, Sub-Inspector (SI) Mamun Hasan, said: “We are not sure that the two girl were victims of the fire incident or not. But in Lalbagh area, no one could pick up or hijack anyone on the night of the fire due to the tight security due to the Ekushey February event at Shaheed Minar.”

“We are working on the matter. The money was sent to Chittagong via mobile banking. The fraudsters collected money by one number and distributed it to five different accounts. They are likely working in a group. We are trying to find them,” he said.

Along with 11 other organizations “Projonma Kotha” performed in the program. Bristy and Dola were members of the group which performed at Shilpakala. 

Projonma Kotha Executive Head Masum Ahmedur Rahman Chowdhury said: “Bristy and Dola got on a rickshaw around 9:40pm From Motsho Bhaban area of Segunbagicha to their home at Lalbagh. Around 10:31pm, Dola phoned her cousin and said they are on rickshaw nearby and will reach within 10 minutes. Since then, they have been missing.”

Dola’s father Dalilur Rahman Dulal said: “I heard Bristy’s father sent money to fraudsters. I went to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and gave my sample for DNA test. I have failed in various staged of my life, but this time [referring to DNA match] I want to failed again and want my daughter alive.”

Bristy’s father Jashim also gave his sample for DNA test at the DMCH, police sources said.

A previous version of this report identified the scammer's mobile number as a bKash wallet. In fact, the said mobile number is not a bKash wallet and was suspended long ago by the company for suspicious transaction activities. We regret the error
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