Zakir Hossain, 43, moved to Dhaka in 2008 and started driving a human hauler to make ends meet. Later, he joined Jubo League and became the Manikachar Union Parishad (UP) chairman in his hometown Cumilla and started a rent-a-car business. At present, he owns a three-storied luxury residence in Cumilla and several flats in Dhaka and land in various areas.
He did not have the Aladdin lamp that made his rent-a-car business boom but he cheated people in such a way that his skills to cheat others turned into an Aladdin lamp. People of different walks of life – from Members of Parliament (MP) to Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the Bangladesh Police – became victims of his fraudulence, from whom he allegedly embezzled crores of money.
On Thursday, the Detective Branch (DB) arrested him from Meghna upazilla in Cumilla in a case filed with Mugda police station in the capital. Following his arrest, the DB briefed the media at the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) media centre on Friday.
"Zakir Hossain used to offer people to invest in his business. He used to take money from them for buying cars at lower prices from the port to be rented through his company. But he used to buy a few cars and by showing fake documents he used to register the same car with more than one person. As these cars were kept with him and rented, the issue of "multiple sales" was not. In this way, he cheated about 300 people, including MPs, DIGs, Superintendents of Police (SP), etc," told Harun Or Rashid, additional commissioner of the detective branch.
He also said, "Zakir used to fraud the car sellers too. Though he used to take the full amount for buying the cars he did not pay the full amount. With a down payment, he used to pay in instalments. For the first few months, he used to pay the instalments regularly but after a few months, he stopped paying. There are many such victims."
According to DB, after driving a human hauler in the capital for two years, he bought a car. He then met a police officer in Cumilla and they became close to each other. The official agreed to invest in his business with one car.
Gradually, he made a good connection with various levels of police officers and political party leaders, which helped him own people's trust and to expand his business. After amassing this wealth, he became a member of the Jubo League in Cumilla. At one stage, he became a UP chairman.