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#parent | #kids | Murdered Manhattan tech millionaire was being sued over PrankDial app | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


Friends said Fahim Saleh (left and right) was a self-made millionaire who had a passion for gadgets and video games. He also enjoyed bringing tech companies into underdeveloped nations including Nigeria and Indonesia. Pictured (right), his motorcycle company in Nigeria

A hitman in a ‘ninja outfit’ killed and dismembered the Manhattan tech millionaire Fahim Saleh on Tuesday in a financially motivated murder but was interrupted by the 33-year-old’s sister and fled out of a service exit when she arrived at his $2.2million apartment. 

Saleh, 33, was known for investing in developing countries and businesses. 

Among his businesses was a motorbike taxi hailing in Nigeria which had recently encountered financial hardhship, and he had also invested in ride-sharing companies in Colombia.

At the time of his death, he was being sued by a former prison guard turned criminal who was jailed for using his app PrankDial to secretly record and listen to employees’ phone calls. 

He founded the app in 2015. 

The app let Kirk Eady, the former deputy director of Hudson County Correctional Facility, place a call between two employees without them knowing he was behind it, then listen to whatever they said. 

He listened to their complaints about him and about their jobs then retaliated against them in the workplace, according to prosecutors.

He was jailed for 15 months and in 2017, sued Saleh for fraud, claiming the app made him think what he was doing was legal. 

Saleh’s sister arrived at his apartment on East Houston in Manhattan’s Lower East Side at 3.30pm on Tuesday and found her brother’s remains in plastic bags. His limbs had been severed and his head had been cut off from his torso.  

Fahim Saleh is pictured with his two sisters, Rif Saleh (center) and Ruby Bashir (right). It is not known which of them made the grisly discovery

Fahim Saleh is pictured with his two sisters, Rif Saleh (center) and Ruby Bashir (right). It is not known which of them made the grisly discovery 

The apartment building where Saleh lived. His dismembered body was found by his sister on Tuesday at 3.30pm

The apartment building where Saleh lived. His dismembered body was found by his sister on Tuesday at 3.30pm

Detectives outside the building on Wednesday. Police are yet to track down or arrest the killer

Detectives outside the building on Wednesday. Police are yet to track down or arrest the killer 

The entrance to the expensive, exclusive building, where there are only seven units

The entrance to the expensive, exclusive building, where there are only seven units

All of the apartments in the building have private elevator access. The killer followed Saleh out of his after riding up with him, cops said. Above, a floor plan of his apartment which shows the staircase that the killer likely escaped out of

All of the apartments in the building have private elevator access. The killer followed Saleh out of his after riding up with him, cops said. Above, a floor plan of his apartment which shows the staircase that the killer likely escaped out of 

Saleh's apartment is one of just seven in the exclusive Lower East Side Building. Above, one of the marketing images used to promote the sale. It's unclear if this is his apartment

Saleh’s apartment is one of just seven in the exclusive Lower East Side Building. Above, one of the marketing images used to promote the sale. It’s unclear if this is his apartment

Saleh was being sued by a former prison guard, Kirk Eady, who was jailed for using Saleh's PrankDial app to listen to employees' phone calls

Saleh was being sued by a former prison guard, Kirk Eady, who was jailed for using Saleh’s PrankDial app to listen to employees’ phone calls 

Police say it was a professional job by a trained killer who rode with him up in the elevator then got out when it opened directly onto Saleh’s apartment. 

The killer, dressed in a mask, gloves and hat and wearing what police sources described as a ‘ninja outfit’, had a suitcase with him – presumably to remove his remains when he’d finished the job. 

But when Saleh’s sister showed up unexpectedly, sources told NBC it appears the killer abandoned the grisly scene, leaving his electronic saw behind. 

It was still plugged in when she arrived. He got out through a service exit and remains on the run. 

Other sources told The New York Post the sister likely pressed the buzzer for his apartment, which gave the killer warning, and that he fled down the stairs as she made her way up in the elevator when there was no answer on the buzzer. 

TECH ENTREPRENEUR’S PLEA TO AFRICAN OFFICIALS TO LET HIS STRUGGLING COMPANY RUN IN FEBRUARY

https://parentsecurityonline.com/

 

In February, Saleh defended his Lagos-based company, Gokada, after officials banned motorbikes as taxis – crippling the business model and forcing him to lay off hundreds of people. 

The business was set up to try to circumvent the constant traffic in Nigeria which means people are often stuck in cars for hours at a time. 

Commuters in Lagos relied on the service to get to work and the drivers relied on it for money.

When the ban was put in place, Saleh had to pivot the business to operating as a courier and delivery service. 

In a heartfelt video to Nigerian officials at the time, he said: ‘It’s not my country. It’s a country that I feel has amazing potential and amazing people and an opportunity to shine. 

‘The drivers, every one of them, wasn’t there because they just wanted to make money. They were there because they had families, children, dreams, they wanted to start businesses. They wanted to go to school.

‘They had degrees already but they couldn’t find jobs. We were hoping that a lot of these drivers wouldn’t be drivers forever, we were hoping that we could place them in higher jobs in Gokada and create a beautiful community which was developing slowly and,it was really something that moved me to the point where I was OK putting all my money in, all my effort in.

‘Gokada is not just a business. We do things that nobody else did at the time.

‘This has definitely been a blow.’ 

The company confirmed his death in a tweet on Wednesday.

‘Fahim was a great leader, inspiration and positive light for all of us. Our hearts go out to his friends, family and all those feeling the pain and heartbreak we are currently experiencing, here at Gokada. 

‘All updates and changes will be communicated with you, as it unfolds. Forever in our hearts.’ 

Police sources say the killing was financially motivated but no other detail has emerged.

According to an unnamed friend, neighbors heard screaming and loud noises but no one called 911. 

Police believe the have surveillance footage of the suspect entering the building on Monday and then using the elevator, getting in with Saleh when he arrived home. 

‘He was dressed like a ninja, full out, so you can’t even see his face. 

‘He clearly knew what he was doing. 

‘We think his intent was to get rid of the body parts and go back and clean it up and make it look like nothing happened. 

‘He left before he finished the job,’ the source told The New York Daily News.

Sources told the New York Post that as the pair rode up to the seventh floor apartment together, Saleh appeared puzzled.No sooner had he stepped out of the elevator – which opened directly into his home – the attack began.   

He fell to the floor after either likely being shot or stunned, the footage reportedly shows. 

Police found that Saleh’s legs below the knees and his arms had been removed, with the missing body parts placed into bags.

Surprisingly, there was very little blood. 

The New York Times reported that some effort had been made to clear up evidence. 

Cops are now trying to work out whether the arrival of the victim’s sister interrupted the dismembering of Saleh’s body.

Detectives are also looking to see if the killer was able to escape through another exit. 

‘We have a torso, a head that’s been removed, arms, and legs. Everything is still on the scene. We don’t have a motive,’ NYPD spokesman Sgt. Carlos Nieves said. 

Saleh, who was born in Saudi Arabia but grew up in New York in a Bengali family, bought his luxury pad for $2.25 million last year and was clearly proud of his purchase – regularly posting pictures and video on his Instagram.

His LinkedIn profile reveals the former website developer was the CEO of a motorbike hailing company in Lagos, Nigeria.

The firm, Gokada, recently faced severe setbacks after being banned earlier this year by the Nigerian government.

It was forced to lay off staff and pivot from being a ride-sharing service to a delivery courier.

The ban came at a difficult moment for Gokada which had just raised $5.3 million in funding from Rise Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, in May 2019.

After the ban was enacted, the firm stopped bringing in money and around 800 bikers working for Gorkada were also immediately laid off. 

Saleh was working on new ideas and a new direction for the firm. 

A woman could be seen sitting in the lobby of the building shortly after the police arrived at the scene to investigate

A woman could be seen sitting in the lobby of the building shortly after the police arrived at the scene to investigate

A crowd of people are seen gathered outside the apartment building in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan

A crowd of people are seen gathered outside the apartment building in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan

The victim had last been seen alive on Monday afternoon and was caught on surveillance cameras getting into the elevator with the suspect

The victim had last been seen alive on Monday afternoon and was caught on surveillance cameras getting into the elevator with the suspect 

Saleh bought the luxury pad for $2.25 million last year and was clearly proud of his purchase - regularly posting pictures and video on his Instagram

Saleh bought the luxury pad for $2.25 million last year and was clearly proud of his purchase – regularly posting pictures and video on his Instagram 

Police say they believe the man was attacked as soon as he walked into his apartment

Police say they believe the man was attacked as soon as he walked into his apartment

Saleh would regularly post pictures on social media with him together with his sisters, at least one of whom lived in New York

Fahim's sister, Rif, is pictured in this Instagram post

Saleh would regularly post pictures on social media with him together with his sisters, at least one of whom lived in New York

Gorkada had faced issues with its operation in Nigeria having been banned by the local government

Gorkada had faced issues with its operation in Nigeria having been banned by the local government 

Friends of Saleh have paid tribute to him saying 'He was extremely smart, ambitious, very kind. Always smiling

He never said he was scared,' another friend recalled. '[He was] always very happy-go-lucky

Friends of Saleh have paid tribute to him saying ‘He was extremely smart, ambitious, very kind. Always smiling’

NYPD crime scene detectives are pictures on scene, outside the apartment block

NYPD crime scene detectives are pictures on scene, outside the apartment block

On June 2, he tweeted: ‘Have a very good feeling about 2020.’ 

Later Tuesday, police could be seen in the condo’s lobby at 265 East Houston Street and speaking with a woman who was in tears and who was believed to be one of Saleh’s sisters who had found the body. 

‘She was really upset. Crying. Shaking,’ neighbor Danny Faust said to The Post. ‘She was just sitting there but you can tell her legs were shaking. She’s nervous. She was crying like, you know, wiping her eyes.’

‘She was screaming when she first came down,’ Faust said. 

‘Dead body? Okay. But when you hear chopped up and dismembered? 

‘That’s it. That’s a sick type of mind for somebody to do that,’ he added.

On Tuesday afternoon friends began showing up to his building. A couple said they believe that Saleh must have been targeted. 

‘He was extremely smart, ambitious, very kind. Always smiling,’ one friend told the Daily News. 

The friends said he was a self-made millionaire who had a passion for gadgets and video games.  

He also enjoyed bringing tech companies into underdeveloped nations including Nigeria and Indonesia. 

He never said he was scared,’ another friend recalled. ‘[He was] always very happy-go-lucky.’ 

On Tuesday night, tributes were also being made online to Saleh. 

‘Rest in peace Fahim Saleh. Deepest condolences for his family and friends. The world is becoming inhumane day by day,’ wrote Ashiq Rahman, a software engineer living in Toronto.

Friends said he was like the ‘Elon Musk of the developing world’ because he was so committed to investing in countries to improve them. 

He started his businesses from his parent’s house in Hopewell Junction, upstate New York.  

Revealed: Humble beginnings of tech CEO who credited his love of computer games as a teen to developing Nigeria motorbike-sharing app that drew in millions of dollars from investors  

Fahim Saleh was born in July 1986 into a middle-class Bengali family in Saudi Arabia. Along with his two sisters – Rif Saleh and Ruby Bashir – he and his parents eventually settled in Rochester, New York.

But even as a youngster, Saleh was said to already be dreaming of earning money and found that his interest in computers could help to realize those dreams.

As a young teen, his enthusiasm for the internet which was still in its infancy at the time, led him to researching Google’s founder and other big tech names during the dot com boom of the late 1990s.

After spending hours playing computer games, he decided to turn his computer wizardry to building a website. 

Fahim Saleh, far left, was born into a middle-class Bengali family in Saudi Arabia. He is pictured here along with his two sisters and his parents. The family eventually settled in New York state

Fahim Saleh, far left, was born into a middle-class Bengali family in Saudi Arabia. He is pictured here along with his two sisters and his parents. The family eventually settled in New York state

Saleh started small, creating a website for his family when he was in eighth grade, but the dotcom boom of the 1990 saw him become interested in programming and developing websites

Saleh started small, creating a website for his family when he was in eighth grade, but the dotcom boom of the 1990 saw him become interested in programming and developing websites

He started small and began with a simple site for his family – Salehfamily.com. It would draw in around five visitors a month, mostly driven by his proud father who would send friends and relatives to look at the pages. 

But by the age of 15, Saleh began to develop a knack for programming and set up a blogging site just for his friends. 

What started as a teen hangout (teenhangout.com), ended up turning into a blogging forum for the community as more people heard about the site and began to publish articles. Finally, money slowly began to come in to the tune of around $3 a month.

A blog notes how at high school, however, Saleh was drawing a profit of between $100,000 and $150,000 a year as he created websites that focused on young people.  

After leaving school, he attended Bentley University in Boston, Massachusetts where he studied Computer Information Systems and developed a Facebook app  which allowed students to have food delivered. 

He then set up a phone-pranking phone app that would let a user choose a prank call before calling up their friends to hear their surprised reaction. 

What started off generating about $20 a day soon grew to $1,000.  Saleh notes in an article for Medium  that PrankDial.com has generated $10million during its lifetime. 

The website still brings in about $1-2million a year and allowed Saleh to set up more companies: TapFury, an entertainment company, and Ninja Fish which had a focus on gaming. 

With money being generated, literally while he slept, he set up a venture firm that would allow him to invest in startups in the developing world. 

Saleh's current focus was on a Nigerian transport service app called Gokada - essentially an Uber for motorbikes

Saleh’s current focus was on a Nigerian transport service app called Gokada – essentially an Uber for motorbikes 

His current focus was on a Nigerian transport service app called Gokada – essentially an Uber for motorbikes –  which was co-founded by Saleh in 2018. 

The initial idea was to have people transported across Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, by motorcycle.

SALEH’S BUSINESSES  

KickBack Apps

KickBack Apps owns four apps, including Prank Dial, which provides pre-recorded prank calls.  

Gokada 

Motorbike taxi hailing app in Lagos which commuters used to get around the busy traffic. 

The business got a $5.3million injection from Silicon Valley last year and recently had to pivot operations to becoming a courier service.  

Pathao 

Based in Bangladesh, started as a ride-sharing app but now lets people buy food delivery and clothes. 

Valued at $100million  

Adventure Capital 

Venture Capital firm focused on developing countries. 

Among them was Picap, Colombia’s first ride-sharing app, which is valued at $15million. 

In its first year of operation, Gokada was said to have secured 1,000 bikes giving around 5,000 rides across the crowded city each day. 

But the firm ran into difficulty in February of this year after a ban went into effect that expressly forbid motorbike taxis. 

The ban came suddenly and without warning after the Lagos state government said a ban was needed because of ‘accidents, and disorderliness caused by the vehicles’.

As a result of the ban, commuters were left stranded and many were forced to travel on packed public transport instead.

The firm stopped bringing in money and around 800 bikers working for Gorkada were o immediately laid off.  

The ban came at a difficult moment for Gokada which had just raised $5.3 million in funding from Rise Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, in May 2019. 

‘As a business, we kind of have to just roll with the punches and a lot of those people that we had to lay off were very focused on the transport sector of the business,’ Saleh told CNN earlier this year. 

In an emotional plea to Nigerian officials to reverse the decision in February, Saleh said: ‘It’s not my country. It’s a country that I feel has amazing potential and amazing people and an opportunity to shine. 

‘The drivers, every one of them, wasn’t there because they just wanted to make money. They were there because they had families, children, dreams, they wanted to start businesses. They wanted to go to school.

‘They had degrees already but they couldn’t find jobs. We were hoping that a lot of these drivers wouldn’t be drivers forever, we were hoping that we could place them in higher jobs in Gokada and create a beautiful community which was developing slowly and,it was really something that moved me to the point where I was OK putting all my money in, all my effort in.

‘Gokada is not just a business. We do things that nobody else did at the time.

‘This has definitely been a blow.’  

The company decided to attempt to pivot and become a delivery and logistics company with a new boat hailing service that would run vessels that could hold up to 24 people – but then the global pandemic struck, putting future plans on hold.

‘The drivers here at Gokada, were not there to make money, they were here because they had families, they have children, they have dreams,’ Saleh told Nirametrics.

‘They want to start businesses, they want to go to school, they have degrees already, but they couldn’t find jobs. For many, Gokada wasn’t the final place for their life. It was a stepping stone to get to that next endeavor.’

‘What I will tell you is that Gokada is not just a business, it’s a mission. And every part of that mission is to always be safe, provide jobs.’ 



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