Arrested Jubo League leader and President of the Fakirerpool Youngmen's Club Khalid Mahmud Bhuiyan was desperate to make a quick buck.
Motivated by sporting clubs like Victoria, Wanderers and Muktijoddhha, which were making money by running gambling operations for many years, he used his sports club too as a money-spinner, by installing a casino there.
Before setting up the casino, he met a top Awami League leader and made a deal to ensure he did not face problems from the authorities.
Khalid then brought in modern gambling equipment from abroad at a cost of Tk1.5 crore and installed them at the club. He also hired several Nepal nationals to run his illegal business.
The illegal business of gambling instantly changed the fortune of Khalid as he became a millionaire overnight. His income from the casino was Tk10 lakh per night.
That is how Khalid established his vast empire of illegal property worth more than Tk100 crore, said sources at the intelligence and the investigation team of Detective Branch (DB) under the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
Khalid, who has been just expelled from the youth wing of ruling Awami League, has been put on a 7-day remand in DB custody over two cases for keeping illegal arms and drugs.
Sources said Khalid used to work as a contractor of different government projects. He would get the work orders through "managing" high government officials.
At present, Khalid's contracting company Bhuiyan Builders is implementing development work for the Dhaka South City Corporation. He is also doing another project worth Tk52 crore at Purbachal in the city.
During interrogation, Khalid claimed the Fakirerpool Youngmen's Club had been counting financial losses for a long time. To pull up the sporting club from losing further, he decided to run illegal casino business there, according to sources.
The sources also said that Khalid used to give out a certain percentage from his earnings in the casino to high officials in police and administration as well as to top Jubo League leaders.
Besides, he would also send a large chunk of the money to a Dubai-based Bangladeshi gangster named Jishan.
The intelligence agencies have already discovered the banking channels of both Bangladesh and Dubai through which he used to transfer the money to Jishan.
He used to run all his illegal activities, including casino business, tender manipulation, extortion and land grabbing, under the shelter of Dhaka South City Jubo League President Ismail Chowdhury Samrat, sources also said.
Investigation Officer Shahjahan Saju, additional deputy commissioner of the Detective Branch, said, "In three days of interrogation, Khalid has given us sensitive information about his illegal activities. We are now verifying it."
"We will also try to obtain more information from him in the remaining four days," he added.
Regarding the arms seized from Khalid's possession, the investigation officer said the expelled Jubo League leader claimed to have licences for two arms, but the documents have expired.
On Wednesday evening, he was arrested from his Gulshan residence over allegations of running a casino in a sports club at Fokirapool in Motijheel. At that time, three firearms, bullets and yaba pills were also seized from his possession.
Prior to his arrest, a RAB mobile court detained and sentenced 142 people while raiding the club. They also seized some blackjack tables, slot machines, more than Tk24 lakh in cash, yaba pills and some bottles of liquor, Wednesday afternoon.
RAB also discovered a "torture cell" of Khalid near Kamalapur Railway Station. He allegedly used the cell to torture people who would not pay him money he demanded.