The Detective Branch of police on Monday arrested Crest Securities Managing Director Md Shahid Ullah and his wife Nipa Sultana over embezzlement of shares and investors' money.
The Ramna Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Detective Branch arrested them, at 12pm, from Laxmipur-Noakhali border area.
Detective Branch Joint Commissioner Mahbubur Rahman confirmed this to The Business Standard.
"There are claims that the company embezzled money from hundreds of clients and that the owners then went into hiding," Mahbubur said.
Earlier, 36 clients of Crest Securities claimed to the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) that the defaulting brokerage firm owes them over Tk16 crore.
Responding to the DSE invitation for claims, 52 investors claimed ownership of shares while at least a dozen claimed both shares and cash in their investment accounts in the firm until last week.
However, the numbers and figures are merely claims and the updates were presented to the DSE board on July 2.
Crest Securities – eighth member house of the DSE – failed in settlements in the last week of June.
Then the exchange immediately froze its accounts and assets so that clients' claims can be settled with the belongings.
In an online press conference last week, the DSE Managing Director Kazi Sanaul Hoq said the brokerage firm's clients have securities worth Tk82 crore in the electronic depository system of the Central Depository Bangladesh Limited.
The firm has over 20,000 clients. The owners of the frozen securities will get the opportunity to transfer them to a new beneficiary account through the linking facility approved by the exchange and the regulator.
Cash balance of clients is likely to be paid from frozen assets – like the DSE membership and brokerage licence of the firm – as the brokerage firm has a very little cash in banks.
But the broker's main asset within the exchange company – shares of the DSE Limited – had already been mortgaged in the Social Islami Bank Ltd against the loans taken by the brokerage house owners.
However, the DSE managing director told the media last week that no bank would be able to get the DSE shares and those would be under DSE management's control so that it can sell those, if needed, to settle clients' claims.