Complete skeletons are usually sold at Tk20,000-80,000
Police in Mymensingh have arrested a man in possession of a large number of human skulls and bones.
Twenty-five-year-old Bappi was held with 12 skulls and two sacks full of bones late on Saturday during a raid at a house on the city’s RK Mission Road.
Two containers of liquid chemicals and three packets of powdered chemicals were also seized.
Kotwali model police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Firoz Talukdar said each compete skeleton was going to be smuggled to India, via the nearby Haluaghat border, for a minimum Tk20,000 and maximum Tk80,000.
According to information received by police, several drug addicts and gravediggers of various cemeteries are involved in the skeleton theft ring.
Mymensingh is full of dense forests, hilly areas and secluded places, so those involved in the ring consider the area a safe place to process skeletons.
OC Firoz said: “Members of the skeleton theft ring have been doing this for some time. Acting on a tip-off, we raided the house on RK Mission Road on Saturday. From that rented house, the skeletons would be smuggled to different places.”
He continued: “The members of the ring are scattered throughout the district and the upazila. Gravediggers first relay the news of a death to the members of the ring. They then dig out the corpse from the grave and take it to a secluded place, deep in the forest or in hilly areas, decompose the corpse using chemicals and wash it with hot water.
“The skeleton is then handed over to those involved in the sale or to the trafficker. Through them, the skeleton goes to medical students, teachers or neighbouring countries such as Nepal and India.”
“Chan Miah, who is involved in digging graves at Kalibari cemetery, is also involved with the theft ring. He will be interrogated. Names of seven others were also found and we are currently trying to arrest them.” the OC added.
Superintendent of Police Md Ahmar Uzzaman said police will take strict measures to stop the skeleton thefts.
Opting to remain anonymous, a doctor said: “These skeletons are sold at a high price in neighbouring countries, not just in Bangladesh. Skeleton suppliers, who are usually drug addicts, only get Tk2,000-5,000 for a skeleton that is later sold at Tk20,000-80,000.”
Earlier, police recovered a large number of complete skeletons and skeletal remains from Muktagacha and Bhaluka areas of the district.
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