The illegal casino business had turned out to be the mythical Aladdin's magic lamp for brothers Enamul Haque Enu and Rupon Bhuiyan, making them rich beyond their wildest dreams.
The brothers were arrested on January 13 this year, and during interrogation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), they confessed to buying 100 flats and 22 homes since the 2000s using their ill-gotten wealth.
They now have five luxury vehicles and crores of taka in banks.
The CID also learnt that the brothers own four bighas of land in and outside Dhaka. Sources at the CID said that they are investigating to see if the brothers own any other properties beyond what they have confessed to owning.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) raided Enu and Rupon's home on September 24 last year, and seized Tk5 crore in cash, 7.5 kilograms of gold jewelry and six firearms.
Multiple cases have been filed against the brothers at the Sutrapur and Gendaria police stations over this issue. However, Enu and Rupon managed to elude the law for months.
On January 13, the CID arrested the two from a rented house in Keraniganj on a tip off. They also seized Tk40 lakh in cash and 12 mobile phones.
Speaking to the Business Standard, Additional Superintendent of Police (CID) Faruk Hossain said, "We got some important information about the illegal casino business while interrogating the two recently arrested brothers."
According to the CID, the brothers have been involved in the illegal gambling and casino business for decades, because it was their family tradition. Around three years ago, they became acquainted with a Nepalese man named Harry through a man named Kamrul.
It was a significant turning point for the brothers, as they managed to secure support from influential politicians and installed modern casino equipment in Wonders Club in Motijheel with Harry's help.
After that, the two brothers never looked back. Every night the brothers carried a sack full of money from the casino to their Gendaria home. They hid their wealth in chests, and bought gold jewelry instead of depositing the money in banks.
During questioning by the CID, Enu and Rupon further confessed that they paid a large sum of money to get the vice-president and joint general secretary positions in the Gendaria unit of the Bangladesh Awami League.
They managed to stay off the law enforcers' radar while committing these illicit activities.
The brothers never passed the SSC examination, but they established their influence in Gendaria after buying positions in the local unit of the ruling party. They became obsessed with buying homes, flats, land and jewelry with the money from their casino business.
CID sources said they have definitive evidence that Enu and Rupon own 100 flats, 4 bighas of land and 22 houses. Most of these houses were bought in the last 3-4 years.
The brothers expanded their influence in Old Dhaka after the era of notorious criminal Dakat Shahid ended. They used casino money to form a gang, and forced people to sell their homes across the capital for outrageously low prices through intimidation.
An analysis of the brothers' financial records have revealed that they have many bank accounts at branches of different private banks in Old Dhaka. Most of their accounts are with Dutch-Bangla Bank, Dhaka Bank, Premier Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.
Those banks provided special privileges to Enu and Rupon due to the large amount of money they have deposited there.
On October 23 last year, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed two cases against Enu and Rupon after learning about their illegally amassed wealth amounting to Tk35 crore.
The documents of a case filed against Rupon mention that he has illegally amassed wealth amounting to Tk141,295,882 and did not provide any information on his immovable assets while filing his tax returns in the 2019-20 fiscal year.
On Sunday, a Dhaka court placed Rupon Bhuiyan on five-day remand in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission over undisclosed income. Meanwhile, his brother Enamul Haque has been shown arrested in a separate case filed by the ACC on the same charge.