HuJI relies on robbery for funds, police say as 14 ‘robbers’ include two ‘militants’

Police claim to have arrested in Dhaka 14 members of a ‘robbery gang’, including two alleged militants of banned militant outfit Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami or HuJI.

Published : 4 March 2019, 06:33 PM
Updated : 4 March 2019, 06:47 PM

They got involved with the gang to collect money for strengthening the organisation to snatch the Aug 21 grenade attack convict Mohammed Ujjal from the prison, according to police officials.

Among them, ‘Hafiz’ alias ‘Khalid’ and Mamunur Rashid alias Bachchu Molla are members of HuJI, police said.

They were arrested in Dhaka’s Dholaipar on Sunday night and brought to the DMP Media Center on Minto Road on Monday.

Twelve people were arrested on information that some miscreants had gathered in front of the Asia General Hospital and Diagnostic Center adjacent to Dholaipar intersection, Md Abdul Baten, an additional commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Detective Branch, told reporters.

Some equipment used for robbery, including four pistols, 33 rounds of bullets, a machete, and black cloth masks, were recovered from them. They also had a pickup.

"After the arrest, they said they were preparing for the robbery by taking the security guards of Dholaipar Pubali Bank hostage," said Baten.

A team of detective police arrested Khalid and Bachchu after raiding a house in Rampura.

Twelve suspected members of a robbery gang arrested at the Dhaka’s Dholaipar area on Sunday were brought to the DMP Media Center on Minto Road on Monday.

A foreign firearm, pipe gun, gunpowder, cocktail and Tk 300,000 were recovered from their possession, he said.

"Members of the professional robbery gang said two Huji members provided them with weapons on condition that 30 percent of the loot would have to be shared with them (HuJI members)," said Baten.

Similar information was received after interrogating the two Huji members, he said.

"They were working at the field level to strengthen Harkat-ul-Jihad. They met the Aug 21 grenade attack convict Ujjal in jail who asked them to get him out of the prison at all costs.

"If they do not do so through the legal process, they are directed to find out other means.  For this, Ujjal asked them to do anything required to collect money," the DMP official added.