Moinul Haque Manju, councillor of ward no 39 of the Dhaka South City Corporation, ran his massive extortion empire from the information centre of Tikatuli's Rajdhani Supermarket.
The information centre also served as his torture cell, when the businessmen he extorted did not pay up.
Nobody could set up shop in the area without Manju's blessing.
One such defiant businessman, Kazi Mohammad Rony, had been asked to pay Tk5 lakh to the councillor before starting his business.
When Rony refused, Manju threatened to kill him, prompting the businessman to file a case with Wari police station on Wednesday.
Following this, a team of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested Manju from his office on Thursday noon.
Tikatuli residents and businessmen brought out a merry procession and distributed sweets once news of the arrest became public.
Lt Col Shafi Ullah Bulbul, commanding officer of Rab-3, told journalists that Manju had been arrested as a part of the ongoing purge on corruption.
"He is also accused in two other cases. In all the cases, he has been accused of extortion, land grabbing and other criminal activities," Shafi elaborated.
Rab recovered two firearms, illegal drugs and other banned substances from Manju's office.
"Councillor Manju was a drug addict. We will file cases against him under the arms and anti-drug acts," Shafi said, adding the councillor has laundered huge amounts of money collected through extortion to his family members living in the US.
He said there are allegations that Manju earned crores of taka through extortion and smuggled the money to his family in the US through hundi.
However, Rab could not confirm the exact amount of money laundered without further investigation.
Responding to a question as to why Manju had not been arrested until now, Shafi said: "Only arresting somebody would not work. Proper witnesse to his crime is also required. The businessmen of Rajdhani Market will assist the law-enforcing agencies. We felt that this is the proper time to arrest Manju."
Other allegations against him include drug trade, land grabbing, taking control of the sacrificial cattle market during Eid-ul Azha, and extorting hawkers from the footpaths.
Local people said that the Rajdhani and New Rajdhani Market served as a gold mine to Manju. He would collect Tk1,500 to Tk2,000 from each of the 2,500 shops in the two markets, according to market traders.
Rony told The Business Standard that all the businessmen in both markets were hostages to him.
"If a businessman started a new business, changed business, sold or bought a shop, he had to pay Tk2 lakh to Tk5 lakh to Councillor Manju."
Manju has also been alleged to have grabbed the land of Bholagiri Asram near Kamrunnesa Government Girls High School at Tikatuli and selling it afterwards.
Akter Hossain, another businessman who fell victim to the ward councillor's extortion, said Manju's henchmen collected about Tk15 lakh every month from shopkeepers on the excuse of paying city corporation tax and water bills.
Manju resides at 15/2 Hatkhola in Tikatuli, a building which he had also grabbed earlier, said a local man preferring anonymity, adding Manju's wife, two sons and a daughter live in the US.
"Manju is also a US citizen. He sends the extortion money abroad through hundi. His family members lead a luxurious life abroad with this money," the man added.
"RAB has lodged two cases under Arms and Narcotics Control Act against councillor Manju with Wari Police station on Thursday night," said ABM Foyzul Islam, additional police superintendent confirming the matter.