A Bangladeshi man wanted for murder fled to Budapest years ago and has been operating his criminal network from there ever since, a recent investigation by Al Jazeera reveals.
The ‘Ahmed clan’ continues to make money by colluding with Bangladesh’s security forces to extract bribes for state contracts and job positions while enjoying the support of the country’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina, an investigation by Al Jazeera found.
The criminal group is led by two brothers, Harris and Anis Ahmed, former bodyguards of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. They were found guilty for their involvement in the 1996 murder of Mustafizur Rahman Mustafa, said to be a member of a rival political party.
Their brother is General Aziz Ahmed, head of the Bangladesh Army and close confidant of PM Hasina. After the murder, the two men fled from the authorities while their brother tried to cover up their criminal case.
Anis Ahmed is living in Kuala Lumpur, to where he escaped after his murder conviction was upheld in 2007.
The other brother Haris, who is still on the country’s list of most wanted criminals, fled to Budapest, and has been living there using the fake identity of Mohammad Hasan, Al Jazeera’s investigation discovered.
Leaked documents reveal how General Aziz used military officers to help Haris create the false identity, which was then used to buy properties around the world and set up businesses in Europe, the news outlet reports.
Despite being on Interpol’s most-wanted list for years, Haris bought downtown real estate, operated a clothing store, restaurants, and a currency exchange office in Budapest. According to Hungarian investigative journalism center Direkt36 which helped the investigation, Hungary’s Honorary Consul of Bangladesh also helped Haris to move to Hungary, although it is not clear whether he knew anything about the man’s background.
After the release of the investigation, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement describing Al Jazeera’s findings as a “smear campaign.” It also dismissed the claims that Haris Ahmed had any links to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina or any other state institution.
Featured photo illustration via Pixabay