• Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 06:53 pm

Fahim Saleh’s killing may be financially motivated, NYPD says

  • Published at 11:36 am July 16th, 2020
FILE PHOTO: Fahim Saleh, Co-founder/CEO of Gokada explains his company's operation during an interview with Reuters in Lagos, Nigeria May 3, 2019. Picture taken May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja/File Photo
Photo: Reuters

The killer was dressed 'like a ninja', so no one could even see his face, a source said

Investigators in the Fahim Saleh murder have said his killing may have taken place due to financial reasons.

The 33-year-old, who co-founded ride-sharing service Pathao in Bangladesh, was found dismembered inside his luxurious New York flat on Tuesday afternoon. 

His torso was found decapitated, all four limbs severed with surgical precision — arms at the shoulders, legs below the knees — and stuffed into plastic bags, ­sources said, reports The New York Post.

There were no telltale signs of a struggle, nothing apparently stolen, sources said.

Another source described the murder as “professional,” with the blood confined to one corner of the room, tracing a nearly perfect outline around the torso.

The tech millionaire’s body was cut with a power saw, which was found at the scene and plugged into an electrical outlet, reports The New York Times.

A source noted that when police arrived on the scene, the blood immediately around the torso had not yet blackened, suggesting that Fahim had only recently been dismembered — likely within the last hour of the more than 25 hours the assassin apparently spent inside the flat.

He was followed into his Manhattan flat by a man dressed all in black, an official said.

The killer, who was also wearing a black mask, followed the young technology entrepreneur from the lift of his luxury condo building into his flat. Then he used the electric saw to decapitate and dismember his body, the New York Police Department (NYPD) detectives believe.

NYPD officers speak at crime scene at 265 Houston Street, where Fahim Saleh was found dead at the apartment building in New York City, New York, US, on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 | Reuters
Though the investigation is in its early stage, law enforcement officials gave a chilling account in their brief on the inquiry on Wednesday, as detectives scrutinize the evidence in the shocking killing of the tech entrepreneur.

The motive behind Fahim’s murder appeared to be financial in nature, a senior NYPD official told NBC2 on Wednesday, reports The Sun UK.

A source told Daily News that the killer bolted via a staircase after Saleh's sister buzzed up to Fahim's flat and got into the lift.

The source said: "He was dressed like a ninja, full out, so you cannot even see his face. He clearly knew what he was doing. We think his intent was to get rid of the body parts and go back and clean it up and make it look like nothing happened. He left before he finished the job."

Fahim’s death draws international attention

On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, detectives were scouring the neighbourhood for surveillance video from outside local stores, residential and commercial buildings and area traffic cameras to see if cameras had captured the killer coming or going or waiting for his prey, several law enforcement officials said, The Times report added.

The grisly death has attracted international attention given the tech wizard’s global connections. The son of Bangladeshi immigrants, Fahim founded ride-hailing companies in Bangladesh and Nigeria as well as a venture-capital fund based in Manhattan that invested largely in companies in the developing world.

A NYPD police vehicle sits parked outside the entrance to 265 Houston Street, where Fahim Saleh was found dead at the apartment building in New York City, New York, US, on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 | ReutersOn Wednesday, State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak expressed his condolences on Twitter, saying Fahim’s death was a great loss for the country.

His family has declined to speak to the press, Times report further mentioned.

Lawsuit against Fahim

In 2017, Fahim was named as a defendant in a $10 million lawsuit filed in New Jersey by Kirk Eady, a former deputy director of Hudson County, NJ’s correctional facility, court filings show.

Eady was criminally convicted, sentenced to 21 months behind bars and lost his job after using PrankDial app (owned by Fahim) to listen to and record colleagues badmouthing him.

Co-founded in 2017 by Fahim Saleh, ride-sharing app Gokada at its peak had over 1,000 motorcycles and drivers on its app, connecting commuters to moto-taxis and completed nearly 1 million rides by the end of May 2019.

Fahim was trying hard to revive Gokada in Nigeria after the Lagos government enforced a ban on passenger motorcycles in February this year.

Following that ban, Saleh’s Nigerian ride-sharing company had to lay off 80% of its workforce and had pivoted towards the delivery services, at a time when the company had already invested huge sums to expand its ride-hailing fleet. 

Gokada followed his success with Pathao in Bangladesh, which he founded with Hussain M Elius and Shifat Adnan in 2015, and was valued at over $100 million.

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