Dhangethi murder suspect linked with additional crimes

Mahmood Aboobakr, 57.

Police state there’s a possibility the suspect in the murder of a businessman from ADh. Dhangethi in October had been involved in additional crimes in the past.

Local businessman Mahmood Aboobakr, 57, was found murdered and thrown into a water well in an abandoned house in Dhangethi on the afternoon of October 14, hours after he was reported missing.   

Police arrested Sha Alom Mia (Salim), 29, a Bangladeshi national, in connection to the murder under court order on October 16.

Salim had worked as a live-in caregiver for an elderly man by the name of Aadhanbe at Nedhunge - a house close to where Mahmood’s body was found.  

A team of top police officials, including Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed, travelled to Dhangethi on Saturday. The team met with the members of the local council and Mahmood’s family, and briefed them regarding some of the investigative findings.

Salim’s arrest for murder had some as a shock to the residents of the small island community of Dhangethi. He had previously been known as a hardworking and well-behaved worker, who regularly goes to the mosque to perform prayers.

The police team investigating Mahmood’s murder had expanded their investigation to look into other crimes which take taken place in Dhangethi. Their findings point to the possibility Salim had been involved in additional crimes in the island.

Police told Mahmood’s family that their investigative findings show a clear picture of what took place.

Their findings show Mahmood was killed in the house where Salim lived. He lured Mahmood to the house and asked for money. He was killed in the dispute which arose after he refused to give the money.

Salim stabbed Mahmood multiple times. He killed Mahmood and stuffed his head and legs into sacks. He threw the body over the wall and onto the street, and then carried the body and dropped it into the water well located in the abandoned house at the back of his house.

Police have stated that their investigative findings do not indicate additional assailants had been involved in the crime. 

Mahmood’s family believes he had approximately MVR 25,000-30,000 in cash in his wallet the night he went missing. 

Police have said they found multiple items linked to the case buried in the backyard of Nedhunge, including Mahmood’s phone and national ID card.  

However, the police have not confirmed whether his wallet was found.

Salim became the focus of the investigation after a woman reported hearing screams coming from Nedhunge at approximately 09:30 pm on October 13 – the night Mahmood went missing. She looked over the wall, and saw what looked like someone being dragged by their feet.

She alerted one of Aadhanbe’s relatives, who called Salim. Salim told the relative he killed a cat.

Dhangethi residents had initially suspected two men visiting from AA. Thoddoo to be behind the murder. A group of angry locals had torched their motorcycle, and handed them over to the police.

They were removed from the island under protective custody, and were later arrested in connection to a separate case. No evidence has been found linking them to Mahmood’s murder.