The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has raided a house in Uttara following the arrest of disgraced businessman Mohammad Shahed, also known as Shahed Karim, over his involvement in a Covid-19 test scam that roiled Bangladesh’s healthcare sector.
The RAB raided a flat (House No. 62 at Road No. 20) in Sector 11 of Uttara on Wednesday, which is believed to be Shahed’s second office, said Lt Col Ashik Billah, spokesman for the RAB.
Information on this house was dug out after Shahed’s arrest around 5:30am Wednesday from Satkhira while he was trying to ‘flee under a burka to India by boat’, according to the RAB.
Following his arrest, according to a bdnews24.com report, Shahed was airlifted to Dhaka and taken to the RAB headquarters under heavy security.
Law-enforcement agencies started a manhunt for Shahed after it emerged that his hospitals swindled thousands of unsuspecting patients out of millions of takas on the pretext of coronavirus treatment.
The RAB sealed off the headquarters and two branches of Regent Hospital in Dhaka. It also initiated a case against 17 people, including Shahed, on charges of issuing fake Covid-19 test reports and other irregularities.
The case alleges that the hospital authorities duped nearly 6,000 patients out of Tk 20.1 million by issuing fake coronavirus tests reports even though it was supposed to provide free treatment for Covid-19. They later billed Tk 19.6 million to the health directorate.
Shahed has allegedly embezzled billions by defrauding ordinary people through his microcredit and MLM business, according to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The commission decided to open a probe after it received complaints that Shahed amassed a fortune through multi-layered fraudulence, embezzlement of government funds, evading taxes as well as borrowing from banks using fake identities.