How much does a carjacker earn? How much wealth can one make from grand theft auto?
Meet Billal Hossain – a “professional” carjacker who dreams of ultimately making Tk200cr.
His victims include a couple of high profile people.
Detectives said a couple of years back, Billal was arrested after stealing car parts from Public Works Minister Khondoker Engineer Mosharraf Hossain's house.
After he was caught, he even proposed buying the Awami League leader a car as compensation.
During the BNP-led government, Billal stole car parts from the factory of Dandy Dyeing, which is owned by BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman.
Billal's aspiring dream was disclosed when he was first arrested by the police's Detective Branch (DB) in 2010.
He told this correspondent also of his dream on the corridor of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in Dhaka recently as he was being taken for a hearing.
Billal has been arrested twice since 2010.
But his most recent arrest on October 31 this year from Jatrabari seems to have muddled his dream a little.
Billal lamented the presence of increased security measures – ubiquitous CCTVs and police interference – as an obstacle to fulfilling his dream.
But he is not one to give up so easily, it seems. He now wants to accumulate at least Tk100 crore. After that he will leave his “profession,” he said.
DB sources told the Dhaka Tribune that Billal has been facing 26 cases since 2010 but he always comes out on bail.
A high official of DB police, requesting anonymity, said Billal has a panel of lawyers who put up a strong fight in court.
During Billal's recent hearing on a five-day remand prayer, a panel of 10 lawyers stood to defend him and ultimately the court approved a remand for just one day.
The official told the Dhaka Tribune that Billal showed the detectives all modern carjacking techniques during a recent interrogation.
In desperation of achieving his goal, Billal has also engaged in burglary – as a part-time job – at households with a motive of stealing car parts and machinery. The official said Billal always admits to his crimes in front of the police.
DB Assistant Superintendent Rafiqul Alam said Billal now has a strong team of at least 37 members – 12 for robbery and the rest for lifting cars. Billal's gang members are all very skilled and “can unlock any car within a few seconds.”
According to DB police sources, Billal owns properties worth Tk30 crore in the form of, among others, a luxurious building in Demra and two villas in Ashulia and Tangail.
He also owns a few buses that operate on different long routes. He has gifted luxurious cars to his wife and three daughters.
Assistant Superintendent Rafiqul Alam said when he was arrested in 2010 Billal promised to leave carjacking. But he got arrested again in 2012 for stealing cars.
Rajib Al Masud, additional deputy commissioner of DB, said: “We are now conducting drives to arrest the members of Billal's gang.”
Billal is currently in jail.