Dinesh and Rajkumar are Nepalese citizens. One casino kingpin hired them in 2015 and appointed the duo to run gambling machine at Victoria Club. They did not take too long to get popular in the casino world as huge cash began coming in every night.
Victoria Club literally turned rich overnight through the gambling business. The club managing committee members and committee president Ismail Chowdhury Samrat were also making a quick buck.
The news of money making technique erupted quickly at other clubs in Motijheel area. The clubs started leaning towards casino business using several political platforms of the ruling Awami League. The business turned lucrative as Jubo League leader Samrat extended his direct support.
People in the business turned millionaires overnight.
Detective sources said some 15-20 clubs began casino business hiring Nepalese and Thai citizens to Dhaka. Six powerful political leaders had been operating the business with more than 100 foreigners.
The law enforcers have rounded up a number of Jubo League leaders for running the illicit business. They are now conducting hot pursuits to nab the Nepalese citizens.
Detective sources said Sechasebok League President Molla Md Abu Kausar was leading the business at Dhaka Wonderers Club while Ward Commissioner AK Mominul Haque had been looking after the gambling at Arambagh Sporting Club, Dilkusha Sporting Club and Mohammedan Sporting Club.
Ismail Chowdhury Samrat had been running gambling at Victoria Sporting Club and Muktijoddha Club. Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan has already been arrested for his casino link at Fakirapool Young Men's Club.
Casino business was good at Sainik Club and Ajax Club respectively led by Jubo League leader Jasim Uddin and Jubo League leader Arman.
About the Nepalese citizens involved in casino business in Dhaka, Legal and Media Wing Director of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) Lt Col Sarwar Bin Kashem said that they were conducting drives to apprehend those involved in casino business.
"They are under our radar. We are also looking for the Nepalese people," said the RAB official.
Meanwhile, police sources said the gambling materials were brought to the country from Nepal, China and Thailand by declaring those as sports items. Around Tk1.5-3 crore was spent to set up gambling machines at each casino.
Multiple agencies are probing how those materials were imported to Dhaka. Investigators said a number of customs officials may face the music for assisting casino materials import.
They said detectives have obtained a list of such officials.
In reply to the query of how the materials or the foreigners were brought to Dhaka casinos, RAB spokesperson Lt Col Sarwar said police are sincerely looking into the matter, as a number of cases have been filed followed by the RAB's casino raids.
Besides, the culprits involved in liquor sale and drugs peddling at the casinos will be brought to book, said the RAB official.
The RAB official was asked whether Samrat, the so called "Casino Mughal", will be held. He said: "We are investigating. Action will be taken after that."
Drives for 13 Nepalese people
The Nepalese duo Dinesh and Rajkumar is widely known at Dhaka casinos. Police are looking for a total of 13 Nepalese people including Ajay Pakral, Pradip, Choto Rajkumar, Krishna and Binod Manali.
A number of influential political leaders involved in casinos are trying to leave Dhaka, sources said. However, police barred more than one at Shahjalal International Airport as the high-ups of the government ordered stern action.
In the meantime, detectives are looking for a number of Chhatra League and Jubo League leaders. Immigration department has been asked to intensify vigilance so that they cannot leave the country.
RAB on Wednesday launched operation against casinos in the capital. Jubo League Dhaka South General Secretary Khaled Mahmud was held from his Gulshan residence on Wednesday night. The elite battalion of police has so far combed seven clubs in the last couple of days.
RAB mobile court also jailed more than 200 people apprehended with huge cash at the casinos. Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) on Sunday initiated its action against gambling establishments and raided four clubs in Motijheel area.