Six members of the Detective Branch of Police were detained yesterday with a ransom of Tk 17 lakh in Cox's Bazar half an hour after the six along with another DB man released a local trader they had abducted on Tuesday.
The seven DB men kidnapped blanket trader Abdul Gafur, younger brother of Teknaf municipality mayor Moniruzzaman, from the district town and demanded Tk 50 lakh as ransom, alleged Gafur's family.
While negotiating the ransom with the abductors, the family members informed the security forces, who are coordinating relief operation for Rohingyas in Teknaf, of the abduction and sought their help.
The security personnel stopped the microbus carrying the DB team at a check post in Lambori area around 4:30am, about half-an-hour after Gafur was freed on the Marine Drive road, sources in secutiry forces said.
They searched the vehicle and found Tk 17 lakh. One of the seven DB men, sub-inspector Moniruzzaman, managed to escape, and the rest were detained.
They are Inspector Yeasir Arafat; sub-inspectors Abul Kalam Azad, Golam Mortoza and Firoz Ahmed; Assistant Sub-inspector Md Nuruzzaman and Constable Mostafa Alam.
The authorities suspended the seven detectives.
The incident took place only a day after the Anti-Corruption Commission filed a case against former superintendent of police of Faridpur Subhash Chandra Saha and his wife for allegedly amassing Tk 8.36 crore beyond their known sources of income.
The DB men were taken to the temporary camp at Sabrang and later handed over to police after the SP and the additional SP of Cox's Bazar went there.
The police officials assured that proper administrative measures would be taken against the accused policemen. They also returned Tk 17 lakh to Gafur's family.
Moniruzzaman said the DB men released his brother around 4:00am after taking the money on the Marine Drive road, around 500 metres from the checkpoint.
Gafur told this newspaper that the detectives picked him up from Hotel Al Gani in the district town around 1:00pm on Tuesday after he had lunch with his friends.
“When two of my friends protested, the DB men said a case was filed against me and they would release me after grilling.
“The DB team confined me to a room in Maheskhalia Para area and demanded Tk 50 lakh for my release. They threatened to kill me in crossfire if I didn't oblige.”
The 26-year-old trader said the DB men then contacted his family members through his cell phone and finally settled the ransom for Tk 17 lakh.
He said that though the culprits were arrested, he still feared for his and his family's safety.
Afjurul Hoque Tutul, additional SP in the district, told our Cox's Bazar correspondent that a departmental case would be filed against the seven.
Kusum Dewan, additional deputy inspector general (crime and operation) of the Chittagong Range, said, “They [the DB men] have been taken into police custody and legal action will be taken against them.”
Meanwhile, police headquarters formed a one-member committee to investigate the incident.
An additional SP from the headquarters left for Cox's Bazar to carry out the probe, said DIG of the Discipline Section Abdul Alim Mahmud.
If the allegations against the DB men are proved, they would be sacked, added the police high-up.