2020-07-15 16:53:30 BdST

Regent Group Chairman Mohammad Shahed arrested

Members of Rapid Action Battalion arrested Regent Group Chairman Md Shahed alias Shahed Karim early today in a case filed over his alleged involvement in a recent Covid-19 testing scam and other irregularities.

Based on secret information, a team of RAB intelligence wing with the help of local Rab-6 Battalion arrested Shahed from a boat at bordering area in Satkhira around 5:10 am while he was trying to flee to the neighbouring country.

An eye witness told FT Team, "There is a small sewerage drain next to the Komarpur Bridge. Shahed was hiding in that sewerage drain wearing a burqa. Fishermen first thought him a mad person."

RAB claimed to seize a pistol, three rounds of ammunition and a magazine from his possession.

After his arrest, he was taken to Satkhira RAB camp under RAB-6.

Shahed was brought back to Dhaka around 9:00 am by a helicopter of the Air Wing of the elite force.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) Director General Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun has said that the elite force will hand over Regent Group Chairman Mohammad Shahed to the investigation officer of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) today.

"Shahed was hiding in Cox's Bazar, Cumilla and Satkhira. He was continuously on the move, now by bus, now in car and then by truck for the last nine days," said the RAB DG at a media briefing in its headquarters.

"The RAB team arrested Shahed on information given by Masud Parvez, the managing director of Regent Hospital Ltd."

"Shahed shaved his moustache and beard. His hair was basically white, but he coloured it black. He also planned to have his hair cut. If he had escaped, he might have also shaved his hair," RAB Additional Director General (Operations) Colonel Tofail Mostafa Sarwar told the journalist at Satkhira following Shahed's arrest. 

"Shahed provide us some special information. He was taken to Dhaka for further interrogation," he added. 

"We were following his activities. He was changing his destination frequently. He contacted the brokers to flee to India through the border river Ichamati. Shahed also rented a boat to cross the India border. The boatman fled the scene while we arrested him. We will also arrest those brokers who tried to help him fleeing," said Colonel Tofail in the press briefing.

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, 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.

The hospital authorities had an agreement with the health ministry that they would treat Covid-19 patients free of cost, but they not only charged the patients, but also submitted bills to the ministry against each patient's treatment cost.

RAB filed a case against Shahed and 16 other Regent Group and Regent Hospital staffs for their alleged involvement in the misdeeds and violating a government agreement.

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