Suspect arrested in grisly murder of Gokada CEO: Reports

FILE PHOTO: Fahim Saleh, Co-founder/CEO of Gokada explains his company’s operation during an interview with Reuters in Lagos, Nigeria May 3, 2019. Picture taken May 3, 2019.

NEW YORK: The personal assistant to Fahim Saleh, founder of the Nigerian ride-sharing app Gokada, was arrested on Friday (Jul 17) in the grisly murder of the 33-year-old tech entrepreneur in his Manhattan apartment, New York news media reported.

Saleh’s body was found dismembered and decapitated in his luxury condo on Tuesday, New York police said.

The suspect, identified as Tyrese Devon Haspil, 21, is expected to be charged in the murder, several media outlets reported, including the New York Times, NBC’s New York TV station, the New York Daily News and the New York Post.

“Mr Haspil was Mr Saleh’s executive assistant and handled his finances and personal matters. It is also believed that he owed the victim a significant amount of money,” Rodney Harrison, the NYPD’s top detective, told reporters.

Saleh earlier this week died of multiple stab wounds to the neck and torso, the New York City medical examiner said. His body was discovered in his apartment on Tuesday afternoon.

His body had been decapitated and dismembered, the parts placed into separate plastic garbage bags. A power saw and cleaning supplies were found plugged in nearby.

Harrison added that Haspil was believed to have assaulted Saleh with a Taser before murdering him on Monday.

Security camera video showed Saleh in his apartment building’s elevator with a man in a dark suit, mask and gloves, the media reports said. Video footage showed the suspect following Saleh into the seventh-story apartment, where a struggle began.

Saleh, who was born in Saudi Arabia to Bangladeshi parents and grew up in New York, founded the Pathao ride company in 2015 and in 2018 the Gokada motorbike hailing app.

Gokada was widely used in the Nigerian megacity of Lagos until state officials in February banned motorcycle taxis, known locally as “okada,” dealing a serious blow to the company.

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