Man arrested over misappropriating plane ticket money after selling at lower prices

The Detective Branch of police has arrested a man on charges of selling overseas jet tickets at lower prices and later misappropriating money through refunds.

Published : 12 May 2022, 03:26 PM
Updated : 12 May 2022, 03:26 PM

Mahbub Ur Rashid was arrested on Wednesday following a complaint made by Biman Bangladesh Airlines official Saidur Rahman, who is one of the at least 20 victims of the fraud.

In a press conference on Thursday, Additional Commissioner Hafiz Akter said along with Saidur, Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage travellers also fell victim to them.

“Mahbub and his associates were planning to swindle money from people this Hajj season.”

Saidur said Mahbub, who introduced himself on Facebook as the owner of MQ Trade and Travel Consultancy in Bhatara, offered Biman tickets for overseas flight at lower prices.

Saidur then went to meet him at an office. “I realised later on it was not his firm. He rented a small room beside the firm and set up an office with a computer to make it look like that.”

As he worked in Biman, Saidur’s acquaintances asked him for tickets to Muscat, Riyadh and Toronto.

“I found different Biman tickets after contacting [Mahbub]. We even confirmed these tickets going to the Biman offices. But at the last minute, I came to know that the money for the tickets was refunded on payment of some fine.”

Additional Commissioner Hafiz said, “Mahbub had the money refunded by the agency through which the ticket was bought without the consent of the passengers a few hours before the flight.”

“So when the passengers arrived at the airport in due time, they found their tickets invalid.”

Hafiz said Mahbub has been in the act for a long time and at least 20 others lodged similar complaints against him after the arrest.

Mahbub owned a firm called Planet Overseas that held people seeking a route to Canada hostage in 2015. There are two human trafficking cases against Mahbub with Mohammadpur and Dhanmondi police on the matter, he added.

Mahbub managed to keep himself away from legal matters until now by frequently switching his workplaces which were located at Lalmatia, Karwan Bazar, Elephant Road and Bhatara.

Giving only single names, the police mentioned Jahangir and Saad, who is based in Dubai, to be his accomplices.

Police are on the hunt for others tied to the scam.