The Detective Branch is also taking over the investigation of Exim Bank MD abduction case
After being accused of threatening to shoot and torture two top Exim Bank officials, Sikder Group Managing Director Ron Haque Sikder and his brother Dipu Haque Sikder made good their escape from Bangladesh last month.
The Sikder brothers managed to leave the country in a private air ambulance -- owned by them -- despite a countrywide shutdown forced by Covid-19 and travel ban on May 25.
In spite of a case filed with Gulshan police station in this regard on May 19, officials there claimed that they could not locate the infamous duo in their operation to arrest them. Neither could they say anything about their whereabouts.
However, on Wednesday, with the Sikder Group directors well away from the country, in Bangkok, the Detective Branch (DB) of police seized the car allegedly used to take the Exim Bank MD to Sikder House in Banani.
DB Joint Commissioner Mahbub Alam spoke to Dhaka Tribune on the matter.
The Range Rover owned by Dipu Haque Sikder and Ron Haque Sikder was seized from Banani Road 11.
The car was mentioned in the case filed by Exim Bank against the Sikder brothers.
Intriguingly, it took the police eight days after the Sikder siblings escaped from Bangladesh in defiance of the Covid-19 forced shutdown to make some visible progress in the case.
Meanwhile, the joint commissioner also confirmed that DB was taking charge of the investigation related to the case.
The law enforcers, even more than a week after the two men left Dhaka for Bangkok, have gone on claiming that they are trying to arrest the accused brothers.
“We are trying to arrest the accused and are continuing our investigation. We will send alerts to all land ports and airports in the country about their arrest warrants,” Mahbub said.
Ron and Dipu Haque Sikder, both directors of the National Bank, allegedly tortured and attempted to murder Exim Bank Managing Director (MD) Md Haider Ali Mia and Additional MD Md Firoz Hossain by shooting at them, after they refused to overvalue the formers’ mortgaged property for a Tk500 crore loan.
The two bank officials were allegedly held against their will and assaulted at Sikder House in Dhaka’s Banani area, after they had been shot at by Sikder Group Managing Director Ron on May 7.
They also forced them to sign on a blank paper, according to the statement of the case filed against the Sikder brothers on May 19.
This incident sent shockwaves in the country’s banking sector, thereby impacting the overall business climate with bankers and investors expressing a deep sense of worry.
The dramatic escape by Sikder brothers
On May 25, the fugitives fled the country, after obtaining permission from various agencies of the government, on a private air ambulance of R&R Aviation, owned by Sikder Group.
The aviation company has not rented out an aircraft since May 20 and was scheduled to resume operations from May 30.
R&R Aviation has one Hawker 800 aircraft, one Bell 230 helicopter, one Robinson 44 helicopter, and two units of Eurocopter EC130.
Sources at the airport said the brothers did not have to face immigration and customs checking points.
Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) Director Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan told Dhaka Tribune that the Foreign Ministry had authorized the departure of an air ambulance flight from Dhaka at 9:11am on May 25 with two patients on board.
No officials of Sikder Group were available for confirmation and comments.