Arav's Indian passport cancellation efforts on

Rabiul Islam alias Arav Khan, who is known as gold trader in Dubai, is mainly an accused of murdering a police inspector in Bangladesh. Police have sought cooperation from Interpol to bring him back to the countryFile photo

Informal discussions at a diplomatic level are being held between Bangladesh and India for the cancellation of the Indian passport of Rabiul Islam alias Arav Khan, the absconding accused in the murder of police officer Mamun Khan.

The home minister is endeavouring to ensure that the Indian government cancels his passport as soon as possible. The ministry will be issuing a letter to the Indian high commission in Dhaka in this regard. The contents of the letter have been finalised.

Ministry sources say that during informal talks, the Indian high commission in Dhaka was apprised how Bangladesh's citizen Rabiul had fled to India, changed his name and obtained an Indian passport there.

While no official letter has been issued to India in this connection as yet, talks are on at a diplomatic level. During these talks, Bangladesh has been informed that the Indian intelligence agencies are looking into how Arav obtained an Indian passport. Also, the process to cancel his Indian passport has begun.

Senior officials in the home ministry and the police force have said that the Indian intelligence agencies are scrutinising the recent posts made by Arav Khan in Facebook. They are also looking into the address Arav used to get his Indian passport and the office from where he collected the passport. It is hoped that effective measures will be taken shortly to cancel Arav Khan's Indian passport.

Prothom Alo contacted a senior official of the Indian regional passport office in Kolkata, over mobile phone. The official, however, refused to make any comment on this matter.

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Earlier, Prashanta Kumar (PK) Halder, embroiled in a financial scandal in Bangladesh, was arrested in India in May last year. PK Halder had taken on the name of Shibshankar Halder in India and had even managed to get the West Bengal government's ration card, Indian voter ID, revenue office ID, national ID card.

Sources in India's Enforcement Directorate (ED) said 11 houses, land and business establishments in his name were even found in the Indian state of West Bengal. PK Halder has resorted to unscrupulous means to siphon off at least Tk 35 billion (Tk 3500 crore) of various financial institutions in Bangladesh. When this information surfaced, he fled from Bangladesh in 2019.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Detective Branch (DB) is working on bringing back Bangladeshi national Rabiul alias Arav from Dubai, UAE, where he is staying with an Indian passport. The DB has issued a letter to the police headquarters and this letter will be sent to the home ministry. From there it will be handed over to the Indian high commission. The letter basically details how Rabiul got an Indian passport, using the name Arav.

Rabiul, now known as a gold trader Arav Khan in Dubai, is the accused in the case of the murder of police Special Branch (SB) inspector Mamun Imran. Mamun was killed on 8 July 2018. His body was found the next day in a forest in Gazipur. Mamun's elder brother Jahangir Alam Khan filed a murder case with the Banani police station in Dhaka in this incident. DB on 31 March 2019 issued a charge sheet against 10 persons including the absconding Rabiul alias Arav. The case is presently under trial at the Dhaka first additional metropolitan sessions judge court.

According to DB sources, a request has been made in the letter for Arav's Indian passport to be cancelled, stating that he is a Bangladeshi by birth and his real name is Rabiul Islam. He is presently in Dubai under the name Arav Khan. The letter provides Arav's Bangladeshi National ID number, his parents' names and two permanent addresses, one in Gopalganj and the other in Bagerhat.

Details of the police inspector Mamun's murder have also been included in the letter. It explained how evidence in the case was destroyed and that the DB and Special Branch (SB) of police had investigated the placed and accused 10 persons. Other than this case, there are quite a few other cases in which the court has issued arrest warrants against Arav Khan.

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The police letter further says that Arav Khan had concealed his real identity and managed to get an Indian passport, evading the legal processes. The letter in this context called for speedy cancellation of Arav's passport. The letter includes a 22-page attachment with Arav Khan's case details.

On 15 March this year, Arav Khan inaugurated a gold outlet, Arav Jewellers, in Dubai, in a dazzling event. He came into the news with several stars of Bangladesh's sports and entertainment world attending the event. 

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