Once a truck helper, local Awami League leader Nur Hossain, prime suspect for the abduction and killing of Narayanganj City panel mayor Nazrul Islam, has amassed huge wealth at home and abroad with the blessings of major political parties since late 80s.
Hossain, vice president of Siddhirganj thana AL, has businesses and assets in India and Malaysia, according to locals and some of his followers.
He did everything he could to earn wealth illegally.
He resorted to extortion in the transport sector, drug peddling, tender manipulation, river encroachment and illegal sand trade in Siddhirganj and Fatullah of Narayanganj.
He had been in conflict with Nazrul over the control of these illegal businesses. Their rivalry reached its peak when Nazrul defeated Hossain by a single vote in the panel mayor election.
Hossain last year organised indecent stage shows in the name of jatra, a traditional form of theatre, at Shimrail Truck Terminal in Siddhirganj, said locals.
It drew huge protests and criticism from locals, but he continued it under the nose of police and the administration.
The chief executive officer of Narayanganj City Corporation on April 16 served a notice to Hossain, asking him to stop anti-social activities. Copies of the letter were sent to the home ministry, the district superintendent of police and the deputy commissioner.
In response to a petition in April last year, the High Court asked the authorities concerned to immediately stop all anti-social and illegal activities at the truck terminal.
But nothing could deter Hossain, as he had the blessing of influential AL lawmaker Shamim Osman, alleged locals.
Before joining the BNP in 1992, he worked as a truck driver and was involved with HM Ershad's Jatiya Party. On behalf of police, he collected extortion money from vehicles plying Narayanganj areas, alleged locals.
After joining BNP, he started extorting money from transport owners on his own, and gradually got involved in other criminal activities with the support of local BNP leaders. Later, he became the chairman of Siddhirganj union parishad.
When the AL came to power in 1996, Hossain changed his political platform and joined the party in 1998 with the help of Shamim. This allowed him to continue criminal activities such as extorting transport owners, land grabbing and illegal sand trade.
As the BNP-led government assumed power in 2001, both Shamim and Hossain fled the country. They were on the run till the end of 2008. Hossain was on the list of criminals during the tenures of the BNP and the caretaker governments.
Interpol issued an arrest warrant against Hossain in 2007. He returned to Bangladesh after the AL-led grand alliance government came to power in 2009, and got Shamim's backing to run illegal activities again, according to locals and AL sources.
A total of 22 cases, including six for murder, were filed against Hossain with Siddhirganj and Fatullah police stations. He eluded arrest by taking bail in all the cases.
A day after Shamim got AL ticket in December for contesting the national polls, Hossain occupied footpaths in Narayanganj city and Shimrail. He illegally built ticket counters and passenger sheds, and launched a bus service, ABS Paribahan, on Simrail-Narayanganj route.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority wrote to Siddhirganj Police Station 22 times after it failed to stop Hossain's men from extracting sand in the Shitalakkhya river and evict his illegal establishments on the river bank.
Hossain, who holds the post of vice president of Siddhirganj thana AL unit since 2007, was elected ward-4 councillor of Narayanganj City Corporation in 2011.
He was last seen in Siddhirganj after Nazrul and six others were abducted on April 27. Hossain went into hiding from April 29. Police raided his Siddhirganj house yesterday and arrested 11 people.