Man quizzed over family murders

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A man suspected of murdering his wife and three children was being questioned by police today after voluntarily returning to the UK from Thailand.

Rahan Arshad, 36, vanished at around the same time as the murders of his wife Uzma Rahan, 32, and her sons, Adam, 11 and Abbas, eight, and daughter, Henna, six, are thought to have taken place.

The three bodies were discovered by police on August 20 after neighbours had noticed a powerful smell emanating from the family home in Cheadle Hulme, near Stockport, Cheshire.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed today that a man arrested earlier at Heathrow Airport in London was Rahan Arshad.

Detective Superintendent Martin Bottomley, who is leading the murder hunt, said that Arshad had been stopped by the authorities in Thailand and flown back to the UK voluntarily.

Officers knew Arshad had left the UK on a flight bound for Thailand around four weeks ago and had discovered his silver BMW 320 Diesel M sports car abandoned at a Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 car park.

Mr Bottomley said: "Since Monday August 21 we have been liaising with law enforcement authorities in Thailand following the discovery of a silver BMW car at Heathrow Airport that day.

"As a result of those inquiries, Rahan Arshad was questioned by Thai authorities at the Thai-Malay border re-entering Thailand early on Wednesday morning UK time.

"At 7pm last night Mr Arshad voluntarily boarded a Thai Airlines flight in Bangkok to return to the UK in order to assist us with our inquiries.

"He landed at Heathrow Airport this morning.

"On leaving the plane, he was arrested on suspicion of the four murders.

"He will be brought to Manchester later today, where he will be interviewed in relation to this inquiry.

"Uzma's family have been kept fully aware of these developments."

Mrs Rahan, who was from Pakistan, and her children are all thought to have died from head injuries.

Their bodies were discovered shortly after 5.05pm on August 20 after officers were called to the house the couple shared in Turves Road.

Detectives said at the time that the murders could have been carried out up to four weeks earlier and the bodies lain undiscovered since.

Mr Arshad arrived at Bangkok's international airport on July 31.

He was detained by Thai police at the Padang Basar checkpoint in southern Thailand yesterday while attempting to renew his visa to remain in the country by re-entering.

Earlier this month, murder squad detectives arrested a 40-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman in connection with the killings.

They were later released on police bail.