Minicab murder: Controller stabbed to death by love rival, court hears

Mohammed Yasser Afzal

Mohammed Yasser Afzal - Credit: Archant

A minicab controller died after being stabbed 20 times by his love rival, a court heard this morning.

Mohammed Yasser Afzal, who was known by his middle name, had arranged to meet his “secret girlfriend” Nargis Riaz at E20 Cars control office in the Broadway, Stratford, on the night he was killed, prosecutor Sandip Patel QC told the Old Bailey.

The court head how Riaz had resumed a relationship with her ex Gulam Chowdhury, 24, in February 2013 but felt she could not break up with 22-year-old Mr Afzal because she feared he would show intimate photos to her family, who disapproved of him.

“Some members of his family knew that Miss Riaz was his girlfriend but little more,” said Mr Patel. “Even Mr Afzal’s brother met Miss Riaz for the first time only a week before his murder.”

This secrecy meant Mr Afzal, who lived in Norwich Road, Forest Gate, had told his cousin and a friend to leave the family firm on March 24 when he received a text from Riaz, 22, to say she would come round between 7pm and 7.30pm.

Mr Patel said: “[On that day] his brother worked the early shift from 8am to 4pm and Mr Afzal took over at about 4pm.

“A usual thing was that Mr Afzal had friends around to play computer games and while away the time.”

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Shortly after law student at City University London Riaz arrived, witnesses reported seeing a man with his face concealed leap over the counter with one hand and drag Mr Afzal away from view of the CCTV cameras in the office, Mr Patel said.

The court heard how Chowdhury had admitted attacking Mr Afzal in a typed statement found in a pocket with Chowdhury’s name on it and dated March 25.

In it he allegedly maintained that he did not intend to kill Mr Afzal, only retrieve the phone which he believed had photos on it that would be used to blackmail Riaz.

The prosecution allege that Mr Afzal’s murder had been planned weeks in advance through a series of text messages and phone calls.

Riaz, of Fanshawe Avenue, Barking, and Chowdhury, of Heenan Close, Barking, both deny murder.

Muhammad Khan, 23, of Lindsey Road, Dagenham, also stands charged with assisting an offender.

The trial continues.

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