IT expert Zoha abducted as he raises many questions over BB money heist

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Dhaka, Mar 17: Tanvir Hasan Zoha, an IT expert who was attached to an intelligence agency probing the Bangladesh Bank (BB) fund heist, was abducted on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that he might be arrested.

“Law enforcing agency may arrested IT expert Zoha in the interest of investigation—but I am not sure,” the home minister told reporters before joining in a function at Farmgate in the city on Thursday.

Dr Qamrun Nahar Chowdhury, wife of Zoha said that her husband was abducted from near the army intelligence DGFI office at Kachukhet area under the Dhaka Cantonment Police Station around 1:00am on Wednesday.

She said Zoha talked with her over the phone around 11:30pm Tuesday for the last time. His mobile phone was found switched off since 12:15am.

On Monday, Zoha said a vested quarter was angry with him over disclosure of real information about Bangladesh Bank fund heist to media. “They are conspiring against me as I raised many questions at the Bangladesh Bank. I gave objection to keep the foreigners in investigation process, because I think hackers created a ‘hole’ in Bangladesh Bank. I want to tell the prime minister everything,” wife Dr Qamrun Nahar Chowdhury said quoting her husband as saying.

Zoha’s uncle Mahbubul Alam claimed that Zoha went to the office of an intelligence agency on Wednesday night from where he phoned his friend Yamir Ahmed to accompany him on the way to his residence.

Quoting Yamir, Mahbubul said: “Zoha and Yamir took a CNG-run autorickshaw for Zoha’s Kalabagan Lake Circus residence but it went out of order after two minutes. Then two microbuses blocked their way and took away the duo. Then, Yamir was dropped at Manik Mia Avenue.”

Later, Yamir informed Zoha’s family about his “abduction.”

Mahbubul Alam alleged that they went to Kalabagan police station to inform police soon after the incident. However, Kalabagan police told them that the area of the incident is under Kafrul police station.

When they went to Kafrul police early Thursday, they were sent to Cantonment police station. Then, the Cantonment police sent them to Bhasantek police station where the law enforcers told them that the area of the incident was not under the police station.

Being failed to file a general diary, Zoha’s family members compelled to return to their home.

Zoha’s wife demanded her husband to return safe and sound.

When RAB started investigation into Bangladesh Bank fund heist, Zoha was attached to the RAB team. He also went to Bangladesh Bank along with high officials of RAB where they held a lengthy meeting with the central bank officials.

On February 4, hackers stole more than $101 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and wired it to a number of bank accounts in the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

On February 29, Philippines daily the Inquirer broke the story of a possible $100m digital bank robbery of the BB fund.

After the incident came to light, Zoha talked to the media, giving expert opinion.

On March 7, Bangladesh Bank admitted stealing of $101 million. However, the Bangladesh Bank claimed that hackers transferred the money from the Bangladesh Bank account.

But, cyber security expert Tanvir Hasan Zoha told reporters that it was not possible for anyone to steal such a huge amount of money without the cooperation from the Bangladesh Bank officials.

The media reports identified Zoha as the ICT Division’s cyber security wing director (operations). It has remained closed for two months.

But the ICT Division denied any link with Zoha.

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