A good number of casino and gambling bigwigs are still out of trace of law enforcers.
Many of them have already fled the country while some others have gone into hiding to avoid possible arrest by police in the ongoing nationwide crackdown.
Delwar Hossain Delu alias Casino Delu, who is the mastermind of the online casino business in the capital, is one of them, said intelligence sources.
According to several sources, Delu has already left the country. He went to Singapore just before the start of the crackdown, they said.
He doesn't hold any political identity but he could manage the ruling Awami Leauge leaders to run his illegal business. Casino kingpin Ismail Hossain Samrat also gave him shelter and protection in this regard.
Delwar Hossain is known as 'Casino Delu' in the underworld.
Intelligence sources also said in the mid of 2017, Delwar imported online casino materials and started online casino business in the 13th and 14th floors of Priton Zaman Tower in Dhaka's Paltan.
It was the first online casino in the country.
Players and gamblers from home and abroad could bet online through several devices in these kinds of casinos.
But players had to register in casinos where the machines were installed.
That's why he is also known as the mastermind of the online casino business in Dhaka.
Earlier in 2017 and 2018, the casino was open round the clock. Gamblers were seen busy in the hall room at that time.
Delwar started to serve his first-time clients with free food and liquor.
He also gave 'losing money' to the gamblers who would lose all their money over the night. In Delwar's online casino, gamblers used to get Tk1,500 as losing money.
Delwar has reportedly earned crores of taka from the illegal casino business and has laundered those to Malaysia and other countries.
Intelligence agencies have also come to know that he possesses multiple residences and cars in Kepong town in northern Malaysia.
He used to go to Malaysia and Singapore every month and used to play in casinos there.
Delwar Hossain used to introduce himself as a contractor and export-import businessman to avoid the identity of illegal casino activities.
At least 30-35 cases had been filed against him with several police stations of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, but the police allegedly did not do anything.
Rise of Delwar
Born in a needy family, Delwar Hossain passed his childhood at Shahzadpur Railway Colony in the capital.
During the BNP regime, this controversial businessman took the lease of three major markets – Nagar, City and Zakir – in the Dhaka South City Corporation area.
Sources with intelligence agencies said at least 1,100 shops in these markets were constructed by Delu's construction firm. These shops were built avoiding the building code, they added.
From the three markets, he has reportedly earned at least Tk1,000 crore in the last 15 years.
A person named Zakir used to operate these shops and collect rents on behalf of Delwar.
Sources also said the then public surveyor Mohammd Ali helped Delwar get control of these markets.
According to Dhaka South City Corporation sources, Delwar did not pay any money to the corporation from these shops.
They also informed that Mayor Saeed Khokon refused to sanction any bill to Delwar's construction firm for these irregularities.
However, the shops built in the markets violating building codes are yet to be demolished by the authorities concerned.
Delwar Hossain locked into conflict with Fariduddin Ahmed Ratan, councillor of ward no 20 of Dhaka South City Corporation, with regard to taking control of the three markets. Ward Jubo League President Sahabuddin reportedly supported Ratan.
Sources said the two groups involved in clashes on multiple occasions.
Later, Ratan managed to get control of the three markets after bidding the tender at a reduced price.
Losing his control over the markets, Delwar Hossain got involved in the illegal casino business.
Contacted, Fariduddin Ahmed Ratan declined to make any comment on this matter. This correspondent also tried to contact Mayor Saeed Khokon but could not reach him even after several attempts with a phone call and text message.