Mystery as ‘poisoned’ British father and son found dead in Bangladesh ‘with blue liquids in nose’

·3-min read
Rafiqul Islam – second from right – was a ‘well-loved and well-respected’ member of the Cardiff community, friends have said  (Family handout)
Rafiqul Islam – second from right – was a ‘well-loved and well-respected’ member of the Cardiff community, friends have said (Family handout)

A British father and son who were killed in Bangladesh had unknown light blue and brown liquids in their noses, medics working on the case have said.

Rafiqul Islam, 51, and Mahiqul Islam, 16, along with three other family members, were discovered unconscious by police officers at a property on Tuesday afternoon.

The father and son died on their way to the hospital. Ms Islam, his wife and their eldest son and daughter continue to receive treatment at the Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College and Hospital (SOMCH).

Husnara, 45 and daughter Samira, 20, remain in a critical condition in the intensive care unit while son Sadiqul, 24, is said to be doing well.

The family, from Riverside in Cardiff, were on a two-month holiday visiting family in the country and were renting a flat in the eastern city of Sylhet.

Rafiqul Islam was well respected by his local community
Rafiqul Islam was well respected by his local community

Bangladesh Police Superintendent Farid Uddin said that, after an initial assessment, detectives believe the pair had been attacked with poison.

They said they were not sure how the pair were poisoned and a full investigation is still underway.

Ms Islam had injuries on her forehead and neither her or the couple’s daughter had eaten the night before, local news outlet Prothomalo reported, citing unnamed medical and police sources.

The light blue and brown liquid was found by doctors during an autopsy, the outlet added.

Superintendent Uddin said that other people in the building are close relatives of the victims and have been questioned.

Police believe the five poisoned family members fell asleep in the same room after having their dinner on Monday night.

Relatives raised the alarm the following day.

“This must be investigated further. How were they poisoned? How did they die? We will be able to confirm after an investigation, ” Superintendent Uddin added.

Relatives raised the alarm at around 10am after they could hear no sound coming from the flat and tried unsuccessfully to open the door.

Authorities first thought the family had been struck with food poisoning but have since launched a police investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

Members of the community say they are in “complete shock” over the tragedy.

Muhibur Islam, from Jalalia Mosque and Islamic education centre, described Mr Islam as “a well-loved and well respected member of the community”.

“It’s been a complete shock, it still hasn’t sunk in for everyone.

Mohammed Haroon, general secretary of the Bangladesh Association Cardiff, said he used to work with Mr Islam, who was a taxi driver in Cardiff, and said: “He was a very nice person, very helpful person who was at the mosque all the time and constantly working with the community.”

Mr Haroon said Mr Islam was a member of their local badminton and football teams.

“It’s very sad.

“But I do believe the older son is quite well now, he’s up and talking. [Mr Islam’s] daughter is still critical and his wife is not out of danger yet.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: “We are providing consular assistance to a British family following an incident in Bangladesh and are in contact with the local authorities.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting