Gokada founder Fahim Saleh murdered in New York City

Entrepreneur who blazed a trail in online transport services with his Gokada motorbike firm in Nigeria is found dead and dismembered in his apartment

Fahim Saleh, a co-founder of the ride-hailing venture Pathao and the owner of the motorcycle company Gokada has been murdered in his luxury New York apartment.

The New York Times reports that officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) found the decapitated body of the 33-year-old technology entrepreneur in a building on East Houston at Suffolk Street, on the lower Eastside, at about 3.30pm on Tuesday (14 July).

The New York detectives said Saleh’s body was dismembered with an electric saw.

His head, limbs and torso were said to have been found in various parts of his condominium after the murderer tried to get rid of signs of the murder.

Found by sister

The police are also said to have found plastic bags at the crime scene which they believe could have been used in an attempt to “clean up” evidence of the murder.

Saleh was found by his sister at 3.30pm New York time after she had gone to see him because she had not heard from him in 24 hours. She called the emergency services immediately on finding the body.

Police are convinced that her arrival may have disrupted the murderer’s plan to clean up the scene, as the weapon used was still plugged in.

Police are investigating the death as a case of homicide.

There is footage on the surveillance camera in the apartment showing Saleh entering the elevator with a person wearing a black mask and suit. This person also follows Saleh as he goes into his condo, and a fight ensues between the two.

Tributes from Pathao

Fahim Saleh was born to Bangladeshi parents in Saudi Arabia and settled with his family in New York, where he began coding as a teenager.

He achieved his first success in technology while still in high school when he founded PrankDial, the web-based prank calls company. By 2018, the site had generated over US$10 million since its launch. He later graduated from Bentley University.

Saleh founded Gokada in 2018 and raised over $5 million to run it. At its peak, Gokada claimed that it hired 1,000 riders and drivers.

He referred to the venture as “one of the most out-there things” he had ever done. But the business was badly hit by the ban on commercial motorcycles in Lagos early this year.

There has been an outpouring of tributes after his tragic death. Hussain Elius, a colleague of Saleh’s with whom he co-founded Pathao, said the company was stunned to hear of his murder.

“We are shocked and saddened to hear the reports of the death of Fahim Saleh, one of the founding members of the ‘Pathao’ team.

“Fahim believed in the potential for technology to transform lives in Bangladesh and beyond. He saw the promise in us when all we had was a common purpose and a shared vision.

“He was, and will forever remain, an incredible inspiration for ‘Pathao’ and our entire ecosystem,” he said.


Nana Abena Boakye-Boateng

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