IT specialist Zoha`s family hopeful of his safe return after `phone call`

22 March 2016

The family of Tanvir Hassan Zoha is hopeful of the safe return of the 'IT specialist', who went missing five days ago, after receiving 'a phone call' concerning him.The family did not file a general diary with police after getting the call, said Zoha's uncle Mahbubul Alam, a former deputy director general of Bangladesh Television.However, Alam did not say who the caller was when approached him for comments on Monday. "Now we are just hopeful (of his safe return).""Zoha's mother has asked us not to do anything that may harm her son. We are mindful of that."Zoha's family had alleged that police did not cooperate when they had approached several police stations after some unknown people whisked him away from Dhaka Cantonment area in the wee hours of Mar 17.Family members had gone to the Bhashantek Police Station on Saturday, but left without lodging any complaint after receiving a phone call, OC Md Nazrul Islam had said.Though they did not want to share the details, the family had hinted that a law-enforcing agency picked up Zoha, who, his family said, had worked with every government intelligence agency at different times in the past.  His uncle Alam said, "We are hearing many things. One said that he would be released in two or three days. Another said he would be sent to court as an arrestee in a case."However, none of the security and intelligence agencies have admitted to picking up Zoha, who had identified himself as the ICT Division's cyber security specialist while speaking to media on the $81 million Bangladesh Bank cyber heist.But as the government body soon denied any links with him, Zoha said he used to work at the ICT Division.However, a top official of an agency, seeking anonymity, told "He's (Zoha) not a big fish. He'll turn up after a few days, you'll see."Police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which are investigating the theft, said they too were looking for Zoha.CID's Special Superintendent of Police Mirza Abdullahel Baki on Monday told "Zoha has already spoken to several media outlets, so we think he knows who are possibly involved in the heist. He is very much needed now."He will be able to help our investigation to a large extent," he said. The transfer of $81 million from the Bangladesh Bank account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to the Philippines by hackers drew international media attention after Philippines Daily Inquirer broke the news on Feb 29.Bangladesh Bank officials learnt of the heist, which took place in the first week of February, almost immediately but withheld the information for about a month.A day after Zoha's friend told his family and media that the 'IT specialist' had been whisked away, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters that police were detaining suspects in the reserves theft case. But he said he did not know whether Zoha was among them.Zoha's uncle Mahbubul Alam said, "Zoha's matter is in the knowledge of the home minister. That's why we are hopeful.""But we are very worried at the same time. His mother has stopped eating. She only wants her son."Zoha's wife Dr Kamrun Nahar said apart from providing IT assistance to the intelligence agencies, he had worked as a trainer.Zoha is now the vice-chairman of Insight Bangladesh Foundation, which is headquartered at Dhaka's Mirpur.

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