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Embassy helping Bahrain crack down on crime

Bahrain News
Sun, 24 Jun 2018
By Raji Unnikrishnan

AN embassy is helping Bahrain crack down on crime by reporting some of its own countrymen who break the law to authorities.

At least 10 Bangladeshi “gang leaders” have been reported to police by diplomats from the Bangladesh Embassy, said labour consul Shaikh Tahidul Islam.

Information supplied by the mission has led to the arrest of men involved in gambling, street crimes, illegal liquor sale and other activities in violation of the law of the land.

“We share the information we collect with the police – mostly details of gang leaders and their hangouts,” Mr Islam told the GDN.

“We have our own sources and spies and with the information from them we have identified most of the hubs of these gang leaders, who have led us to others.

“We reported at least 10 such gang leaders to police and many arrests have been made.”

The GDN reported on June 11 that 32 Asians were arrested a day earlier for gambling in Manama; they all turned out to be Bangladeshis.

The men were arrested after an investigation was launched into a video circulating on social media showing them gambling.

Cash and other items were confiscated from the suspects and the case has been referred to the Public Prosecution.

“We will continue doing this without any mercy as these men are bringing shame to all Bangladeshi expatriates, and the reputation of our country is being adversely affected,” said Mr Islam.

“Bangladesh insists on its citizens being law-abiding but these men are committing crimes in Bahrain which they dare not do in their own country.

“This shows they are also taking advantage of the benevolence of the rulers of this country, which is unacceptable.”

Mr Islam pointed to a case last month where the embassy helped police rescue a Bangladeshi man who was being held for ransom by his own countrymen.

“We helped police arrest seven (Bangladeshi) men who were illegally holding another (Bangladeshi) man and demanding ransom from his family in Bangladesh,” he said.

“The men kept changing their places of accommodation, which made it difficult for us to track them down.

“Finally, police received information that they were in a hotel in Manama. In a surprise raid, police stormed the room and rescued the man.

“According to the culprits the man owed them BD500 but his sister who contacted the embassy from Bangladesh said the men were demanding BD1,000 for her brother’s release.

“The victim was working in a hotel and had borrowed the money for an emergency.

“He is now working in Bahrain, while the others (seven men) are in police custody facing trial.”

Around 130 Bangladeshis are currently in the Jaw prison, according to Mr Islam.

“We visit the inmates every month; most of them are serving time for various crimes such as robbery, gambling, kidnapping and other street crimes.

“As an embassy we are providing them consular assistance, but we are definitely passing a strong message to our community members and our government that we will not take these crimes lightly.”

In February, the GDN reported about the arrest of four Bangladeshi men who allegedly attacked a salesman and while trying to rob him they pushed him off an abandoned building in Manama leaving him partially paralysed.

In Manama, the area of most concern is known as Bengali Gali, a network of tight streets stretching from Shaikh Mohammed Avenue to the Manama Suq. It is a densely populated neighbourhood known to house unregistered and often unsafe labour accommodation.