Police recently arrested one Nawab Khwaja Ali Hasan Askari who allegedly cheated "at least 500 people at home and abroad," by posing as a successor to Nawab Salimullah Khan.
The arrest of Askari, who also claimed to be a member of the board of directors of the renowned Mount Elizabeth Hospital of Singapore, has unearthed a series of fraudulent activities. So much so that the police are now considering a DNA test to verify Askari's claim.
Police sources said more than 500 people have been cheated by Askari and around 20 victims have already lodged complaints with the police seeking remedy. Several crores of taka have been recovered from his possession.
Top officials of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) revealed this to The Business Standard on Monday.
They said they have yet to determine the real identity of Askari who claims to be the grandson of Nawab Khwaja Salimullah Khan.
Askari forged his national identity card, birth certificate etc., and said that Ahasan Manjil was his residence, the officials said.
"We have tried to determine his real identity and address, but in vain. Maybe now doing his DNA test can give us a lead," said Tohidul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of the economic crime division of CTTC.
"Over 20 people have communicated with us bringing forth a wide range of allegations against Askari in the last five days since his arrest," Islam added.
Askari and four of his associates were arrested in a forgery case filed at Mohammadpur police station on Wednesday. After being produced before the court, each of them was placed on a three-day remand.
In confessional statements, three of them said that they were working for Askari and took huge amounts of money from people on various pretexts and fake promises, said police sources.
CTTC investigators claimed Askari has forged many documents to impersonate the grandson of Nawab Salimullah, in order to grab properties of the Nawab family.
Tajul Islam, an LLB student of Uttara Law College, had given four lakh taka to Askari, in three phases between March and April this year, after being promised jobs at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
Tajul said that Askari claimed to be a partial owner of Mount Elizabeth Hospital. He took the amount saying he was conducting a medical test on Tajul and 40 others, before their promised appointment at the hospital.
"After giving the amount, I realised that we had been cheated. I demanded my money be returned, but he refused," said Tajul.
The youth from Gazipur then filed a case at the Motijheel police station.
CTTC deputy commissioner Mahfuzul Islam said that so far they have received allegations that Askari collected around Tk10 crore from people on various fake promises.
CTTC investigators said that they so far traced three cases against Askari filed at the Mohammadpur, Mirpur and Motijheel police stations in the capital and one filed with Narayanganj court.
CTTC investigators, however, said that they were informed that some accomplices of Askari are already communicating with the fraud victims, offering to return their money in the next three to four months as long as they do not file cases or complaints.
They further said Askari and his four accomplices were sent to jail by the court, on Monday, after being interrogated during three days' remand.