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He raped a woman for not paying extortion money. Then he tried to hide by shaving his face

Ashik, accused in 12 cases including charges of demanding ransom and rape, changed his appearance by shaving his beard and moustache in a bid to avoid arrest.

But RAB arrested him in Madaripur on Sunday as he was trying to make his way to Patuakhali.

At a press conference on Monday, RAB said Ashik had been arrested five times so far and served two and a half years in jail in the last case filed against him.

He was introduced to the woman in Cox’s Bazar two days before the incident, RAB said.

RAB arrested Ashikul Islam from Madaripur on Sunday in connection with the case filed over the rape of a tourist in Cox’s Bazar on Dec 22. So far, five people have been arrested in connection with the case.

“Ashik runs a gang of around 30 men in Cox’s Bazar,” said Commander Khandker Al Moin, director of the Legal and Media Wing of RAB.

“This organised gang is involved in various crimes. Tourists are their main target. They demanded Tk 50,000 as extortion from the victim and her husband. The woman was introduced to Ashik two days before the incident.”

Highlighting information they were able to extract during interrogation, the law enforcers said: “Ashik confessed that he took the woman to the hotel and raped her after she refused to pay the money.”

However, in response to a question, the RAB official said Ashik was not aware of the rape behind the tea shop, the RAB official said.

“At that time, Ashik left the woman with his associates and went to get a motorcycle.”

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The 25-year-old woman travelled to Cox’s Bazar with her husband and 8-month-old child on Wednesday.

Her husband had an altercation with another man that afternoon after they bumped into each other at the crowded Laboni Point market. Later that day, a group of men took the victim’s child and husband hostage in front of the Tourist Golf Course.

Three men then took the woman behind a teashop near the Golf Course and raped her.

Later, the victim said they took her to the hotel and raped her again while threatening to kill her husband and child.

RAB went to Zia Guest Inn and rescued her after receiving a call from her.

The next day, the tourist’s husband named four suspects and accused three unidentified people in a case over the alleged gang rape of his wife.

Khandker Al Moin said: “Under Ashik’s leadership, it was a regular matter to trap tourists and extort money. Law enforcement personnel have also been trapped and released after paying their ransom.”

Describing the interrogation, Moin said, “Ashik told RAB that when a commotion began over the incident, he shaved his facial hair. He then came to Dhaka on an AC bus two days later.”

Ashik was later arrested from Madaripur Mostafapur Bus Stand on his way to Patuakhali, where he was planning to hide out, said Khandker Al Moin at the press conference.

Twelve cases have been filed against Ashik since 2012 including charges of murder, torture of women, mugging, extortion, weapons and drugs.

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