Online casino kingpin Selim Prodhan raked in crores through online gambling in Bangladesh and amassed business firms and a villa in Thailand.
For his investments in Bangkok and Pattaya he was known among many as Thai Don.
He bought most of the properties through laundering the ill-gotten money out of the country after 2018, investigators have learnt.
After almost a year-long investigation in a case filed under the Money Laundering Act against Selim Prodhan and five others last year, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police has come to know about his wealth and properties abroad.
CID officers found evidence suggesting that Selim Prodhan and the five other accused have laundered Tk 13.28 crore they made from an online casino trade.
“Since it will take longer to find the evidence of Selim’s money and properties abroad, we have submitted a charge sheet against Selim and the other accused only for laundering Tk 13.28 crore,” Special Superintendent of CID’s Financial Crime Unit Mostafa Kamal told The Daily Star yesterday.
Officers also pressed charges against Selim’s South Korean associate Youngsik Lee, and Bangladeshi associates Akhteruzzaman, Roman, Arifur Rahman and Chowdhury Golam Moula, said CID officials.
Four of them have been arrested and two are on the run.
The investigator found nine businesses, a villa in Thailand and two bank cheques of Tk 6 crore. Besides, 83 bank accounts of the six accused were frozen.
Mostafa Kamal said the investigation officer of the case CID Inspector Shahidul Islam Khan have the permission to launch an independent inquiry to find evidence of Selim’s wealth and properties overseas.
Selim also has bank accounts in the USA and has properties in Bangladesh, Kamal added.
Officers are not sure whether Selim has properties in London and Japan.
While he was remanded by the CID, Selim told investigators that after he went to Japan in 1988, he worked at a hotel.
He also claimed that he started a hotel business there, but could not show any document to support his claims, CID officials said.
Selim even stopped paying the rent for his office and home and used to scare the landlords, officials added.
On September 28 last year, Rab arrested Salim at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport while he was attempting to flee the country.
Based on information, the Rab conducted a 20-hour raid at his Gulshan office and Banani residence that day.
During the raid, the law enforcers seized around Tk 29 lakh in cash, currencies of 23 countries worth Tk 77.63 lakh, 32 cheque books of three banks, five credit cards, two pieces of spotted deer hide and 48 bottles of foreign liquor.
Rab investigators found that at least Tk 9 crore was deposited in a month to a single payment gateway used for online gambling, with the amount shared equally between Salim and his North Korean partner Doo. The duo had few more online payment gateways.
Born in Dhaka in 1973, Selim went to Japan in 1988 with his brother.
He later moved to Thailand where he met Doo.
It was Doo’s idea to open an online gambling business in Bangladesh, officers said.
They opened two gaming sites, P24 and T21, in Bangladesh in 2018 and since then Selim had been running them. He was also one of the first providers of B2B live casino solutions in Bangladesh.