Sohel Rana, the much-talked-about owner of the collapsed eight-storey Rana Plaza, has been brought to Dhaka Sunday afternoon hours after his arrest from Benapole in Jessore.
The helicopter of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) landed at Tejgaon old airport around 5pm from where he was taken to the elite force’s Uttara headquarters.
In a press briefing later, Rab director Md Mokhlesur Rahman told reporters that a Rab team, acting on a tip-off, arrested Rana around 3:05pm from Benapole. He was absconding at his friend Shah Alam Mintu’s residence. Mintu was also arrested.
He also said Rana was trying to flee the country following prime minister’s order to arrest him on Friday.
Earlier State Minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanak told the Dhaka Tribune that a team of Rapid Action Battalion captured him.
Two cases were filed against Jubo League leader Rana who was on the run since the collapse of Rana Plaza.
Helaluddin, an authorised officer of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), filed a case against Rana for the structural fault found at the building and constructing the structure using substandard materials and violating building code while Wali Ashraf, a sub-inspector of Savar Police Station, filed the other case against Rana, his father Abdul Khalek and the owners of the five garments housed in the building for loss of lives and damages.
The Rana Plaza housing five readymade garment factories, a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping complex, caved in on Wednesday trapping several thousands of people inside it.
At least 371 people were found dead in the building collapse till Sunday afternoon.
Police so far arrested three owners of the factories and two engineers of Savar Municipality in connection with the cases filed over the building collapse.
Law enforcers raided the houses of many relatives of Rana in Dhaka and other districts to arrest him till Sunday noon, the Rab DG said.
On April 23, several cracks developed on some pillars and a few floors of the building, causing panic among the people working there.
Authorities visited the building that day and asked the building owner and garments factory owners not to open the building. But the warnings and instructions were ignored leading to the collapse.
Workers of at least two garment factories at Rana Plaza were forced to join their workplaces following a false assurance on the building’s safety from a local engineer, relatives of the victims alleged.