Regent Hospital's owner Md Shahed alias Shahed Karim, arrested allegedly over forging Covid-19 test reports, had both legal and illegal firearms, said sources at the Detective Branch of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
With those weapons, Shahed used to threaten people to agree to his demands, several victims claimed to The Business Standard.
Azizul Islam, a physiotherapist who, he claimed, owned a clinic named "Physio Clinic Healthcare Centre" in Mohammadpur, is one of them.
He said he had been forced by Shahed to leave the ownership of his clinic.
"I started the clinic in 2015. Later, Md Shahed's wife – Sadia Arabi Rimmy – requested me to join the business as a partner. I agreed as she was a senior mate in my university."
Everything was okay till 2017. In the mid of that year, Md Shahed and his allies suddenly came to Azizul's clinic flanking his firearm.
"Shahed aimed it at my forehead and asked me to sign a few papers of the partnership deal."
"Actually, he and his allies forced me to hand over the clinic to them without any payment. They snatched my dream in the blink of an eye. I left the clinic with tears," Azizul said.
Rimmy was behind all these but law enforcers did not sue her, he also said, adding, "I want justice."
Jakia Nusrat, a doctor of Regent Hospital at its Uttara branch, also claimed that she had been forced by Shahed with firearms to re-join the hospital after she had informed the hospital authority to leave the job.
"I had left the hospital and informed Shahed, but after a few hours he came in Banani where I was staying at that time and took me away to his hospital and forced me to re-join," she said.
Another victim, who is a businessman but wishes not to be named, said he owned the Le Melinia hotel in Uttara which Shahed grabbed in 2017 and then claimed himself as its owner.
"He was my partner in the hotel and supposed to pay me Tk1 crore per year. He just gave me Tk20 lakh and then grabbed the entire hotel threatening me with his illegal arms," he added.
Meanwhile, the firearm that was with Shahed when he was arrested in Satkhira was an illegal one too.
Besides, the DB confiscated his legal firearm during a raid at his Uttara residence recently after arresting him.
"We did not find any information regarding the use of that illegal firearm. We are investigating the matter. Sometimes criminals use both legal and illegal weapons to cover up their crimes," Abdul Baten, joint commissioner of DB, said.
Meanwhile, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has also received a large number of allegations against Shahed, after launching a hotline number to know about his misdeeds.
RAB's Lt Col Ashique Billah told The Business Standard that they are getting numerous complaints against Shahed.
"We have received at least 200 complaints till now and are seriously looking into these cases which are actually authentic," he added.
The elite force has been given the task of investigating the fraud case of Shahed Karim regarding his involvement into Covid-19 test forgery. The case has been transferred to the RAB from the DB with the approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
However, the DB will investigate the case of arms and drugs seized during the operation, Abdul Baten said.
"During his five-day remand in the RAB custody, we received a lot of information," he added.
Shahed had been on the run since a case was filed against him for issuing fake Covid-19 test reports in Regent Hospital.
On July 7, the RAB sealed off Regent Hospital's head office in the capital and two of the hospital's branches in Uttara and Mirpur, on charges of issuing fake Covid-19 certificates and conducting other misdeeds.
According to a RAB intelligence report, Regent Hospital collected samples from at least 10,000 people. Of them, only 4,200 got authentic Covid-19 test certificates and the rest were fake.