'Top criminal' Zeesan goes traceless


'Top criminal' Zeesan Ahmed, arrested recently in the United Arab Emirates, is now traceless.

On 3 October, Bangladesh police issued a press statement saying that the fugitive criminal was arrested in Dubai and the process to extradite him had already begun.

But, now no one from the government or police is saying anything about Zeesan's whereabouts.

Asked about this, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said to Prothom Alo, "I don't know this clearly. Police informed me that he (Zeesan) was arrested in Dubai. But now, I'm getting several versions (of his whereabouts). We have to check this out."

A diplomat in the UAE on Sunday said, Zeesan was in the custody of Dubai police till the second week of October after he was arrested in the first week. But, the diplomat could not confirm whether he was freed on bail or not.

It has been reported that Zeesan was released on bail on Thursday afternoon by a Dubai court. Some Bangladeshi newspapers said that he moved to London from Dubai.

According to the foreign affairs ministry, the arrested person was not Zeesan or the passport he was carrying did not match his name.

The home ministry and foreign affairs ministry officials said that Zeesan was living in Dubai with three passports -- Bangladeshi, Indian and Dominican Republic.

Police Headquarters' National Central Bureau (NCB) has been working with the Interpol to bring back Zeesan in Bangladesh. NCB officials said that he went to Dubai from India after managing an Indian passport and changed his name to Ali Akbar Chowdhury.

"As far I know, Zeesan doesn't use a Bangladeshi passport. If he has to be brought back to Bangladesh, his other passports have to be cancelled," said Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit chief Monirul Islam.

Bangladesh announced a Tk 1500,000 award on 27 December 2001 for information about 23 notorious criminals in the capital. Zeesan was one of them.

He was involved in extortion and criminal activities in Gulshan, Banani and Badda and other parts of the capital.

His name came to limelight after two officers of the Detective Branch of DMP were shot dead at a hotel in Malibagh in 2003.

Zeesan fled to India in 2005.

Interpol issued a red alert in his name.

His name came up again after the arrest of Jubo League leaders GK Shamim and Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan last month during an anti-corruption drive.