Police have recovered the car belonging to Maroof Zaman but were yet to make further headway in tracing the former ambassador, who went missing on Monday.
Sub-inspector Tariqul Islam, the case investigation officer, told the Dhaka Tribune that police have not found any signs of forced entry into the vehicle, which was found abandoned near the 300 Feet area of Purbachal in Dhaka.
Maroof left his residence in Dhanmondi on Monday evening to pick up his daughter Samiha Zaman from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. However, the 61-year-old never reached the airport and has been out of reach since.
Officer-in Charge of Dhanmondi police station, Abdul Latif, said Maroof was last traced to Kawla near the airport.
According to press release issued by his family members, Maroof phoned them at around 7:45pm and told them some people would be dropping by to collect a few things.
He asked his family to cooperate with the visitors and afterwards his phone was found switched off.
At around 8:05pm, three tall, well-dressed men – all wearing hats and face masks – arrived at the family residence and asked to be taken to Maroof’s room.
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“One of them introduced himself as Asif,” said Mofizul Islam, a security guard at the building.
Seeking anonymity, a member of Maroof’s family said the visitors asked their domestic help, Lucky, to take them to his room.
“After entering the room, they started searching his wardrobe and swiftly collected his spare phone, computer, laptop and camera,” the family member said.
“Lucky asked them why they were collecting and packing the computer and other devices. But they did not pay heed to what she was telling them.”
Mofizul said they left the building at 8:14pm without a further word.
“Police collected CCTV footage of that day (but) the masks and hats were worn in such a way that the faces of the trio cannot recognized in the footage,” OC Latif said.
“They know well how to avoid being captured in CCTV footage. It will be difficult for law enforcers to find them out.”
Parvez Islam, inspector of the police station, said no ransom call had been received and it had not been confirmed whether or not the former diplomat has had enmity with anyone.
Investigation officer Tariqul said they were yet to ascertain whether any group linked to political parties had abducted him.
Quoting Maroof’s younger brother Reffat Zaman, a national daily said he is not involved in politics.
A retired captain of Bangladesh Army, Maroof joined the Foreign Ministry in 1982 and served as Bangladesh ambassador to Vietnam and Qatar and was made counsellor at the Bangladesh High Commission in the UK.
Maroof retired in 2013 as additional secretary.
Family sources said Marroof has been depressed since the death of his wife.