Rauf came to set up Daud's crime network
Indian fugitive criminal Abdul Rauf Daud Merchant came to Bangladesh with a mission to expand the illegal empire of Daud Ibrahim, head of a organised crime syndicate in Mumbai.
"Detained Rauf came to Bangladesh to set up a network of Daud Ibrahim,” Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner AKM Shahidul Huq said, adding, "We will launch an investigation and dig out their network and their Bangladeshi agents."
But both Rauf and Zahid denied the allegation and their link to the Chittagong arms haul. They said that they came just to get holed up to escape the grips of Indian law enforcers.
Meanwhile, Rauf, his sidekick Zahid Sheikh and their Bangladeshi host Kamal were taken on an eight-day remand yesterday.
At a press briefing at the office of Detective Branch (DB) of police, the DMP Commissioner said they were trying to find out if Rauf had any link to the smuggling of 10 truckloads of illegal arms and ammunition seized in Chittagong.
Rauf, sentenced to lifetime for killing Indian music baron Gulshan Kumer on Aug 12, 1997, said he has no link to Daud Ibrahim. But he confessed to his association with Chhota Shakil, a close aide to Daud Ibrahim.
Shakil had advised him to enter into Bangladesh, as it is a Muslim country and assured him that he would take care if something goes wrong, he added.
Another arrested Indian national Zahid also said he has link to Chhota Shakil who gives him Tk 10,000 monthly.
Sources said Zahid, a resident of 24 Pargona in West Bengal, escaped from India eight years ago and since then he had been hiding in Bangladesh identifying himself as a Bihari.
Rauf in the first week of this month took shelter at Zahid's Shekhertek residence and later they went to Brahmanbaria on May 21.
Sources said Zahid went to Mumbai in 1997 for working in a hotel where he met Rauf who was then a tempo driver. Zahid came in contact with Chhota Shakil through Rauf.
According to sources, DB arrested Rauf and Zahid from the house of Kamal at South Murulia under the Sadar upazila of Brahmanbaria.
Kamal Miah is one of their agents in Bangladesh and he helped them to manage the certificates from the municipality mayor, sources added.
The DMP commissioner said a case was filed with the Adabar Police Station against Rauf and Zahid for their illegal entry into Bangladesh and a preparation is on to file another case for using fake passports.
DMP Commissioner said Brahmanbaria mayor identified Rauf as a Bangladeshi by attesting his application and other papers required for obtaining a passport. He also said Kamal had a hand in the forgery.
DB officials said they produced all the three detainees seeking a 10-day remand and the court granted eight days.
DB police recovered two Bangladeshi fake passports of Rauf and Zahid where their names were mentioned as Abdur Rahim Sheikh and Arif respectively from Zahid's flat in Shyamoli Housing at Shekhertek of Adabar in the capital.
Police said they also recovered an Indian driving license issued in the name of Samir Sheikh Patel.
Sources said, from the call list of Rauf's mobile phone, police suspect that he had regular contact with mafia don Ibrahim while staying in Bangladesh.