Support staff of the house No. 21 styled Lobelia on road No. 28 called police after finding the bodies in a flat on the fifth floor of the building near Nazrul Institute sometime after 7pm on Friday.
Dhanmondi Police Station OC Abdul Latif identified the victims as TeamTex Group Managing Director and Creative Group Deputy MD Kazi Monir Uddin Tarim’s mother-in-law Afroza Begum, 65, and her 18-year-old housemaid “Bithi”.
One of the bodies was lying near a sofa while the other on the floor of the next room, Dhaka Metropolitan Additional Deputy Commissioner Azimul Haque Azim reporters.
A closet and other things in the flat, where the victims resided, were ransacked, Azim said.
“We are investigating who carried out the killings and why,” he added.
Businessman Tarim resides in two other flats with his family and has rented out two others.
Nuruzzaman, a security guard at the building, said a member of the support staff of Tarim’s family, “Bachchu”, took a new housemaid to Afroza’s flat in the afternoon.
Bachchu came down after around an hour for some reason and left later in the evening, Nuruzzaman said.
The new housemaid left the house after around another 45 minutes, according to the security guard.
Tarim told the media Bachchu got the new housemaidp through a betel leaf trader of the neighbourhood and the woman is behind the murders.
He said money, three mobile phones, savings certificates, jewellery and other valuables were lost.
“I took Bachchu to a nearby shop to buy soup. Suddenly a guard phoned Bachchu and told him that (mother) has been murdered,” Tarim said.
“It’s a planned murder,” he said and added he suspected a guard was involved.
Security guard “Atik” said police took away Bachchu, three guards, a cleaner and an electrician for questioning.
A male housemaid, “Riaz”, said Tarim’s wife told him to see why her mother was not answering phone calls in the evening.
He saw the body of Afroza when pushed the door open after no-one answered it, he said.
Another house help, “Apel”, said he rushed to the flat on hearing Riaz’s cry.
Bithi’s body was on the floor of a guest room, he added.
DMP Additional Commissioner Krishnapada Roy visited the house and told the media after midnight that the new housemaid was 22-23 years old.
“It would be easy to find the motive if we can find her. We are exploring all possible angles and also whether only one person or many were involved,” he said.