Body in Trunk: Mystery solved after 6 years
On May 3, 2015, a Dhaka-bound Eagle Paribahan bus carried a steel trunk inside its luggage box from Chattogram. As the trunk was not claimed by anyone, police seized it and found the body of a woman.
Local police investigated for three months and later the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police investigated for four years, but found no clue.
Finally, around six years later, the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) identified the victim and found out that the person who strangled her to death, kept her body inside a trunk and sent it to Dhaka by bus was a man she was romantically involved with.
On Friday, the PBI arrested Rejaul Karim Swapan, a retired corporal of Bangladesh Navy, from Cumilla's EPZ area, who gave confessional statement before a Dhaka court yesterday, said Banaj Kumar Majumder, deputy inspector general (DIG) of police and chief of PBI, at a press conference in PBI's Dhanmondi headquarters yesterday.
The victim was identified as Shampa Begum, daughter of a retired army member Elias Sheikh. At the time of the incident, she was only 25.
Banaj Kumar said that on the day of the incident, someone had bought a ticket at the counter of Eagle Paribahan in Chattogram's AK Khan intersection and handed over a steel trunk to the bus helper to keep inside the luggage compartment and said a passenger would board the bus at the next stoppage at Bhatiari.
However, no one boarded the bus there.
When the bus reached Dhaka's Gabtoli around 5:45pm, the conductor noticed the heavy trunk and informed the Darus Salam police, who found the body.
CID had submitted the final report of its probe to a Dhaka court but the court refused to accept it and transferred the case to PBI, Banaj Kumar said.
The PBI chief said that after getting charge, Investigation Officer Inspector Ashrafuzzaman went to all the police stations of Chattogram metropolitan and district areas to search for the general diaries for missing persons in 2015.
The IO worked for a week to uncover the data of about 10-12 such GDs at that time. Among them was the GD about Shampa, filed by her brother-in-law Abdul Mannan, on June 10, 2015, with Pahartali Police Station. The PBI officer then contacted Shampa's father and brother-in-law.
Family members said Shampa worked as a medical assistant at a hospital. She met Swapan in 2013 while attending to her mother during treatment. Swapan was working at Titumir Naval Base in Khulna at the time.
They got into a relationship but Swapan then moved to Chattogram.
In March 2015, Shampa came to Chattogram and stayed at her aunt's house for a few days and then later stayed at a hotel in Foy's lake area.
Shampa and Swapan then started living together at a tin-shed house in North Green View residential area, introducing themselves as a married couple.
According to investigators, the two had frequent feuds over various issues.
They added that on the night of May 2, 2015, Swapan strangled her to death. The next morning, Swapan put her body in a steel trunk and sent it off on a bus. He also called her parents in Khulna and said he saw Shampa off on a Khulna-bound bus.
Victim's father later lodged a written complaint against Swapan on March 27, 2015 with the Navy's Chattogram office.
The Navy sent him into forced retirement in 2019 after finding his involvement with various other crimes.
After his retirement from the Navy, Swapan opened up a Youtube channel, where he made videos on health tips.
The PBI said Swapan has confessed to his involvement in the killing before a Dhaka court.
Meanwhile, the PBI chief yesterday said Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir will be interrogated if investigators deem it necessary for the probe into a case filed against him over the rape and murder of a college student in Gulshan this April.
"The investigation team is working on it... If they deem it necessary, he [Anvir] will be interrogated," Banaj Kumar said this while replying to a journalist's question.
On September 6, the victim's elder sister filed a case with the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-8 of Dhaka against Anvir.