National, Front Page

Tale of a master fraudster

Published : 15 Jul 2020 10:27 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 04:38 PM

From embezzling money to issuing false health reports through maintaining strong lobby at government offices and well connections to politicians and in the media, Md Sahed amassed a vast fortune before he started running out of luck.

Md Sahed alias Shahed Karim is now the talk of the town since the law enforcement sealed of two branches of his Regent Hospital in Dhaka on allegation of issuing fake Covid-19 reports.

People closed to Sahed said he faces charges in at least 56 cases, but cunningly managed to build a clean image and carry out his wrongdoings continuously.

A master fraudster, Sahed allegedly deceived people by introducing himself as a journalist or a ruling party leader, a ranking army official or a Prime Minister’s Office staff.

He even made it into the ruling Awami League’s central sub-committee though his friendship with party leaders.
His Facebook page is found to have flooded with selfies alongside ministers, lawmakers and government high officials.

Dozens of influential people are believed to have received financial benefits from Sahed. He even spent huge money in media to promote himself. Thus, he elevated to the country’s upper society quickly.

Hailed from Satkhira, Sahed is said to have been closed to convicted BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman and his cohort controversial businessman Gias Uddin Al Mamun.

He even served three months in jail with Mamun in 2009.
A magazine clip featuring a photo of Sahed accompanied by BNP leader Abdullah Al Noman and former BNP leader Nazmul Huda was found when Rapid Action Battalion raided the Regent hospital.

Sahed was also closed to notorious Al-Badr commander and executed Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali.
After walking out of prison on bail in 2009, Shahed Karim changed his name to Md Shahed.

He later opened a multilevel marketing (MLM) company and became a multi-millionaire overnight after allegedly embezzling Tk 500 crore in 2011.

Lawsuits were filed against Sahed on charges of fraudulence. But he remained untouchable.
Before the Covid-19 test report scam, his Regent Hospital was also involved in irregularities during the Dengue outbreak in 2019.
In 2019, two health department officials went to one of Sahed’s hospitals to investigate allegations of corruption and irregularities. Shahed held them hostage at gunpoint and made them leave the place.

According to RAB, Regent Hospital signed a deal the health ministry to provide coronavirus test facilities and treatment free of cost.

They however, swindled people, amassed neatly Tk 3.5 crore for 10,000 tests.
In June, a bill of Tk 1.96 crore was sent to the government under the veil of Covid-19 patients’ treatment.
But the master fraudster, Shahed had not even paid his hospital staff for last four months.

All his fraud came to an end after he was arrested by RAB along Satkhira border on early Wednesday.
Lt Gen (rtd) Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, a security analyst said, a fraudster like Shahed with access to the important places poses a great risk to national security.