There are complications in the process of bringing back Arav Khan, a fugitive accused in a police officer murder case in Dhaka, to Bangladesh as he is now residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an Indian passport, home ministry officials have said.
Arav Khan is a Bangladeshi citizen by birth and his national identity card here identifies him as Rabiul Islam. On the flip side, the Indian passport identifies him as Arav Khan. If the UAE authorities detain him on some allegations, there would be complications in extraditing to Bangladesh.
Against such a backdrop, reliable police officials said they are communicating with India and the UAE through diplomatic channels. Bangladesh has an extradition treaty with the Middle Eastern nation.
As per the formal agreement with Dubai (UAE), the process would have been easier if he (Arav Khan) had been a convicted prisoner. But there are complications as he is not a prisoner
Multiple sources at the home ministry said bringing Arav Khan back to Bangladesh would not have been easy under the prisoner extradition treaty even if he had been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced there. As he holds an Indian passport, it requires to engage India in the diplomatic effort to bring him back to Bangladesh. The authorities here have decided to seek help from India in this regard.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told Prothom Alo on Tuesday afternoon, “As per the formal agreement with Dubai (UAE), the process would have been easier if he (Arav Khan) had been a convicted prisoner. But there are complications as he is not a prisoner.”
The minister also said, “A letter has been issued to the Interpol to issue a red notice against Arav Khan and they accepted it. Let’s see what happens. He did not go there with our (Bangladesh) passport, complications prevail here too. Now we have to request India in this regard. We will send a letter to them.”
According to the home ministry sources, an Interpol red notice does not mean that the accused nabbed in other countries will simply be extradited to the home country. The notice is only used to collect as well as publish information about a criminal. It is not an international arrest warrant.
We first need to understand the attitude of the Dubai (UAE) government. He can be repatriated through negotiations. Talks are in progress, let's see what happens.
Rabiul Islam alias Arav Khan is a gold trader in Dubai. He came to the limelight after he had invited some sports and film celebrities to the inaugural event of his gold shop in Dubai on 15 March.
Later, it was learnt that Rabiul is accused in a police officer murder case. Mamun, inspector of the police’s special branch (SB), was killed on 8 July in 2018 and his burnt body was recovered from a forest in Gazipur on the following day. The victim’s brother, Jahangir Alam Khan, filed a case with Banani police station. The police’s detective branch (DB) investigated the case and pressed charges against 10, including Rabiul, on 31 March 2019.
There was a rumour that the Dubai authorities detained Rabiul on Tuesday. State minister for foreign affairs, Shariar Alam, spurned the rumour and said he is yet to be detained there. He also noted that they contacted the UAE authorities about bringing back Rabiul.
According to diplomatic sources, Rabiul is now under the surveillance of the law enforcement agencies in Dubai.
A home ministry source said the national central bureau (NCB) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) issued a letter to Interpol for taking extradition measures in the case of Rabiul. The Interpol would initiate the process of red notice as per the letter.
Harun-or-Rashid, additional commissioner (DB) of DMP, declined to make any comment over the letter. He, however, said they have been in touch with the UAE envoy since the very beginning of the issue. They also contacted the Indian officials in this regard and urged the US embassy and Canadian high commission to revoke their visas to Arav Khan.
Rabiul alias Arav Khan was not on the list of criminals with Interpol red notice until Tuesday night.
Earlier, Suman Sikdar alias Musa, an accused in the murder case of Awami League leader Jahidul Islam, was brought back home from Oman in May 2022 through diplomatic communications, despite no bilateral prisoner extradition treaty. Musa was flown to Bangladesh after the Oman police detained him.
In a separate case, Kamrul Islam, the prime accused of a child murder case in 2015, was brought back home from Saudi Arabia with the help of Interpol in absence of a prisoner exchange agreement.
Sometimes, it is too tough to bring back a criminal despite having Interpol red notice. Listed top terror Zeesan Ahmed was held in Dubai in October 2019. Bangladesh initiated a process of bringing him back, but he secured bail there and moved to the United Kingdom later. He had an Indian passport, just like Arav Khan.
The inspector general of police, Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun, said, “We first need to understand the attitude of the Dubai (UAE) government. He can be repatriated through negotiations. Talks are in progress, let's see what happens.”