Motin alias Moitta Dakat, the ringleader of a 50-member gang, had been conducting robbery for the past 20 years. He and his men broke into at least 100 households and looted many people at gunpoint during the time.
Throughout the time, he collected the looted valuables from his cohorts a day after executing the robberies. He first checked newspaper reports to learn about the worth of the looted materials and then collected the exact figure from his men.
If the figures, provided by his cohorts and the newspaper reports, did not match, he would often shot his associates. He, at least for once, killed his cohort while doing this. A member of the gang named Ramjan was killed several years back during one such firing.
The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit came to know about these after arresting ringleader Motin, 48, and his associates Saiful Islam Titu, 45, and Md Arman Hossain, 42, early yesterday.
During the interrogation, the CTTC also came to know that the gang used to target Sundays for robbery as they considered the day to be lucky for them. Most of the business firms withdraw and deposit their money in banks on the day.
Jahangir Alam, additional deputy commissioner of CTTC, told The Daily Star that they conducted a drive in Sayedabad area of the capital on information that around 10 people gathered there with arms.
Law enforcers arrested the trio during the drive, he added.
The CTTC team also claimed to have recovered two foreign pistols, one revolver, three magazines, 28 rounds of bullets and two motorbikes.
Sheikh Jane Alam alis Kaiyum, 32, right hand of old Dhaka's top criminal Sultan Ahmed Imu, tipped the law enforcers off about the group during interrogation, said CTTC officials.
The CTTC unit arrested Kaiyum in March this year and took him on a four-day remand that ended yesterday, said Mejbah Uddin, inspector of CTTC unit.
Of the three arrested, Motin is accused in 18 cases, Saiful is a murder case suspect and Arman is accused in 24 cases, claimed police.
CTTC unit's ADC Jahangir Alam said the criminals had a plan to conduct another robbery at a firm in the capital's Motijheel area.
Police, however, did not mention the firm's name for security reasons.
A high official of CTTC said Motin became a robber in early 1999 and started conducting robbery in Jurain, Shyampur and Jatrabari areas of the capital.
“In 2004, when Rapid Action Battalion started massive crackdown against criminal groups and his four close associates -- Boska Kabir, Sanaullah, Tapa and Amira alias Kailla -- were killed in 'gunfights' with law enforcers, he went to Saudi Arabia,” said the official, seeking anonymity.
After staying eight years in Saudi, Motin came back to Bangladesh and started living in Narayanganj where he set up his criminal empire in support of local worker leaders, said investigators.