DHAKA: A 60-year-old Japanese woman living illegally in Bangladesh is feared to have been murdered and buried in a graveyard here as a Muslim after she went missing last month, police said today as they arrested five people in this connection.
Heroi Miata, whose visa expired in 2006 and had been living illegally in Bangladesh for the past nine years, could not be traced since last month after which her relatives in Japan contacted their embassy here, police said.
Following a complaint by Japanese Embassy officials on November 19, police detained five people from different parts of Dhaka and lodged a case against them yesterday, the Daily Star reported.
Police said the detainees, in primary interrogation, claimed that Miata died after suffering from diarrhoea. As she was living here illegally, the detainees buried her at a graveyard identifying her as a Muslim to avoid any hassle, police said.
The detainees claimed that Miata had been living at a hotel but she shifted to a rented house at Bashundhara Residential Area recently as her dues at the hotel were increasing.
An investigator, who declined to be named, told bdnews24: "We are investigating whether the woman had died of natural causes or was murdered."
Yesterday, police requested a Dhaka court for exhuming Miata's body for autopsy. The court is scheduled to hear the plea on November 26.
Miata's mysterious death comes as Bangladesh witnessed violence against foreigners in the past couple of months. An Italian aid worker -- Cesare Tavella, 50, -- was shot and killed on September 28. Five days later, a 66 year-old Japanese farmer -- Hoshi Kunio -- was also killed by unidentified assailants in a similar attack on the outskirts of Rangpur city.
Earlier this month a 57-year old Italian priest working as a doctor at a missionary hospital was shot and wounded by three unidentified assailants in northern Bangladesh. All three attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.