Fraudsters are bleeding the desperate families of those who have gone “missing” without a trace by taking large sums of money in exchange for information or as ransom.
The fraudsters mainly get information about the missing people from the social and mass media before contacting the families to cheat them out of a big money.Although law enforcers have arrested some members of the rackets, cheating did not stop, leaving the unfortunate families sometimes in financial hardship amid worries and pains of helplessly waiting for the news of the dear ones.
Requesting anonymity, a senior officer of the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) told the daily sun that when anyone goes missing, the reports are often published on Facebook and newspapers.
The members of the criminal groups collect the addresses of the victim families and telephone the family members demanding money through bKash or other ways, identifying themselves as kidnappers or they have information about the victim’s whereabouts.
When the family members send money, they destroy the SIM they use to contact the victim families, the officer added.
Lt Col Mohammad Mahbubul Alam, commanding officer of RAB-7, echoed the same his colleague.
On July 21 this year, Ovi Hossain Babu, 10, went missing after leaving his residence at College Road in Kamrangirchar of the capital. A general diary (GD) was lodged with Kamrangirchar Police Station in this regard.A few days after he went missing, a man phoned his family and took Tk10,000 from them using a bKash number. Later, the man asked the family members to go to Nimtoli Bridge at Bandar in Chattogram on August 29 with more money to get delivery of Ovi.
Tahmina, elder sister of the missing boy, said they went to Chattogram, but did not find their brother.
Abu Sayed, who was studying in Class V, went missing from the capital in April of 2014.
Then, his father
Mohammad Azam lodged a general diary with Hazaribagh Police Station. Later, fraudsters in Gaibandha claimed that they abducted the child. His family gave Tk3.5 lakh as raqnsom, but the child remained missing.
Later in July, Azam filed a kidnapping case. Police arrested three persons, but found that they did not abduct Abu Sayed.
Afterwards, the case was shifted to DB, but the police detectives arrested four innocent people and presented them as killers.
The four served jail terms four for years, but Abu Sayed one day returned home and said he fled due to peer pressure for studies.
Sarjin Akhter, a student of Baunia Badh Jamia Forkania Talimia Mahila Madrasa at Pallabi, went missing since August 31.
On September 1, her father Sharif Ullah lodged a GD with Pallabi Police Station.
After the GD, a fraud gang phoned the police station and said the victim was found in Narsingdi. And they demanded a big amount of money.
Another syndicate contacted the family of the victim and demanded Tk1 lakh, but police confirmed that it was another cheating gang.