Criminals are using microbuses with black or tinted glasses to commit various crimes, including kidnapping and smuggling, dodging the eyes of law enforcers.
Sources said law enforcers are unable to see crimes being committed or identify criminals in such vehicles because of the coloured or tinted glasses.They said criminals are using those microbuses to avoid being caught after crimes.
Such vehicles are reportedly used to abduct people for extortion. Those involved in this crime usually introduce themselves as plain-clothes law enforcers.
Under the current law, use of black glass in microbus is prohibited. But common people, besides the criminals, are not following the law. The black glass is often replaced by the transparent glass of the microbus.
As a result, the microbus with black glass has now become a cause of concern for city dwellers.
Sources said many cars get fitness certificate with clear glass but dark glass paper is then used. These cars are mostly used to abduct people.
On May 19, businessman Tanzir Islam was picked up in a microbus from in front of his residence in the capital’s Banani. Then, kidnappers demanded a ransom of Tk 20 lakh from his family.Family members informed the matter to RAB. Later, RAB members carried out a drive on a residence of sector no. 6 in Uttara and rescued Tanzir.
Five members of the gang were nabbed. Seven mobile phone sets, Tk 11,000 and a watch were seized from their possession.
Commanding officer of RAB-1 Lt Col Sarwar Bin Kashem said all detainees are active members of kidnapper group. They abducted wealthy people in the capital’s elite area for ransom.
The RAB official said the gang members first set their target. Then, they started following the targeted persons. At one stage, whenever they get the opportunity, they pick up the targeted persons in their microbus. The gang members then call the family members of the victim and demand ransom for the release of the victim.
On May 2, IT professional Ataur Rahman Shahin was picked up by unidentified people in Tejgaon industrial area of the capital.
His family filed a general diary with Tejgaon Industrial Police Station on the night of the incident and later a case on May 4. A CCTV camera captured the abduction incident. Video footages of nearby CCTV cameras show Shahin was shoved into a white microbus around 8:05pm on the day. Three men were seen shoving him into the microbus and then they drove away from the spot.
Even after two and a half months of the abduction, police could not find any details about the abductors and the whereabouts of the victim, Ataur Rahman Shahin.
When abductions rose in 2013 and 2014, the home ministry issued a notification asking all vehicles to take off the dark glass papers. But vehicles, whose windshield, window and back side glasses are non-transparent by built-in, will be excluded from the new rules.
Later, the home ministry’s decision was challenged in a writ by lawyer Manzil Morhsed and the court issued a stay order on the banning.
However, the glasses can be used on private cars on specific approval of the home ministry or the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.
When contacted, additional police commissioner (traffic) Mir Rezaul Alam said, “No microbus can use black or tinted glasses. We are prosecuting people for using black or tinted glasses on vehicles regularly.”
“Every day around 3,000 to 4,000 cases were filed in the capital. A number of cases were filed for using black or tinted glasses on vehicles,” he told the daily sun.