Fahim Saleh, the 33-year-old founder and CEO of Nigerian startup Gokada, was found dead in his New York City apartment on Tuesday, 14 July 2020. Saleh's decapitated and limbless body was found in his apartment, along with other body parts, sorted in plastic bags after his cousin decided to go check up on him after not hearing from him for over a day.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) reported at the time that they found an electric saw near Saleh's limbless and headless body. According to NYPD, Saleh's arms and legs below the knees were removed and packed in plastic bags.
After the shocking discovery made news, a lot of speculation went around as to what could have been the cause of the murder especially after NYPD described video footage of the suspect as a person wearing a suit and a mask. However, earlier on Friday 17 July 2020 the NYPD revealed that they had arrested Tyrese Haspil, Saleh's personal assistant as a suspect for the murder.
“Mr. Haspil was Mr. Saleh’s executive assistant and handled his finances and personal matters, and it is also believed that he owed the victim a significant amount of money,” said Rodney K. Harrison, Chief of Detectives at NYPD.
NYPD detectives further added that it is believed Haspil owed Saleh approximately $90,000 which he had allegedly stolen from the murdered victim. Saleh apparently had not reported the theft but instead decided to have a repayment plan with Haspil.
Emerging markets technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist
Saleh was born in Saudi Arabia to Bangladeshi parents. He grew up in the USA and would end up living in working in various countries around the world thanks to the different startups he would found.
He graduated from Bentley University in Massachusetts in 2009 and shortly after that would go on to create the PrankDial app. The app allowed users to send prerecorded prank calls to their friends. However, although it proved financially profitable for Saleh, it was also controversial as it attracted many lawsuits with some ending up in subpoenas.
Saleh would then go on to start a motorbike-hailing startup in Bangladesh called Pathao. This then led to him starting a similar motorbike-hailing startup in Nigeria called Gokada which would go on to raise $5,3 million in venture capital funding during 2019. Unfortunately, after the Lagos State government decided to ban "okadas" (motorbike taxis), the startup had to pivot to logistics.
Saleh also launched a venture capital company called Adventure Capital in New York during 2018.
Saleh family distraught
Saleh's family, as can be expected, has been distraught since the murder. The family issued a statement describing their pain and that "There are no words or actions to provide any of us comfort except the capture of the person who exhibited nothing short of evil upon our loved one."
"The headlines talk about a crime we still cannot fathom. Fahim is more than what you are reading. He is so much more. His brilliant and innovative mind took everyone who was a part of his world on a journey and he made sure never to leave anyone behind. Fahim found success at an early age and built on it year after year, while remaining grounded and committed to helping others. No matter what he did, he did it while thinking of the greater good and his family. His parents and his sisters were his light and he was theirs."
Although Haspil has been arrested and charged with second degree murder, NYPD have said that they are still looking into whether the mentioned dispute was behind Saleh's murder and that the motive for his murder still remains unclear.Share this via: