Rogue businessman Shahed tried to flee in burka: RAB


Dhaka, July 15: Shahed Karim, a disgraced businessman with ties to Bangladesh’s influential class, was arrested by the Rapid Action Battalion while he was trying to flee under a burka (veil) to India by boat.

RAB arrested Shahed in Debhata Upazila of Satkhira on Wednesday morning, Lt Col Ashik Billah, director of legal and media wing of RAB, told reporters.

Shahed was later airlifted to Dhaka’s old airport. A large number of media personnel waited for the RAB helicopter carrying Shahed.

RAB arrested Shahed from Komorpur village on the Debhata border in the frontier district of Satkhira at around 5.30 am on Wednesday.

A loaded ‘illegal firearm’ was recovered from Shahed, the director said adding an arms case will be filed.

Shahed was being hounded by law-enforcement agencies after it emerged that his hospitals swindled thousands of unsuspecting patients out of millions of takas on the pretext of coronavirus treatment.

The RAB sealed off the headquarters and two branches of Regent Hospital in Dhaka. It also initiated a case against 17 people, including Shahed, on charges of issuing fake COVID-19 test reports and other irregularities.

The case alleges that the hospital authorities duped nearly 6,000 patients out of Tk 20.1 million by issuing fake coronavirus tests reports even though it was supposed to provide free treatment for COVID-19. They later billed Tk 19.6 million to the health directorate.

Shahed has allegedly embezzled billions by defrauding ordinary people through his microcredit and MLM business, according to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The commission decided to open a probe after it received complaints that Shahed amassed a fortune through multi-layered fraudulence, embezzlement of government funds, evading taxes as well as borrowing from banks using fake identities.