The man, who once was detained by law enforcers for his alleged involvement in carjacking in the city, has turned into a business tycoon within a short time.
As official records show, Md. Yunus Badal was arrested in 2007 and three years later, he started borrowing money from state-owned Janata Bank, eventually making himself the singe largest borrower.
The managing director of Anontex Group, Yunus Badal currently owns 22 enterprises. The Janata Bank was 'gracious enough' to give him loans worth Tk 55.04 billion, of course beyond the legally permissible limit.
Even the detective officials, who were involved with the process of picking up Badal during a raid for catching carjackers, wondered how such a person was given loans amounting to more than Tk 50 billion.
When contacted, Yunus Badal, however, denied his detention on charges of carjacking. "I have been all along a businessman," he claimed when his reaction was sought.
Former comptroller and auditor general M Hafizuddin Khan expressed his surprise at this Janata Bank scam involving a carjackers' ring leader, after a series of scams in the country's banking sector in recent times.
"I am astonished and feel helpness. How did Janata Bank disburse so much of money to a single borrower? That too, beyond its permissible limit! And again the person was caught by the police for his alleged involvement in carjacking," said Khan, also a former adviser to the caretaker government.
On 19 March 2007, the DB formed two special teams to prevent car lifting and recover stolen cars and motorcycles. Then a additional deputy commissioner of DB, Masudur Rahman headed both the committees.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, he recollected that five persons were detained on charges of carjacking from Uttara in the capital on 17 May 2007.
One of the detainees was Yunus Badal and a case was filed against him for selling stolen cars, the official said adding the police submitted a charge-sheet in the case.
After the drive, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) circulated a press release which mentioned the name of Yunus (Badal) alongside Biplob, Shafiuddin, Shafiqul Islam and ABM Shamsul Hasan.
A retired DB sub-inspector confirmed the Uttara raid on 17 May 2007 when Badal was caught. Resident of a hired two-storey building, Badal introduced him as a garment factory owner, the detective said.
Another official said, "We picked up Yunus from Uttara... I can remember his lavish lifestyle there."
Then a DB official who is now police superintendent, said son of a late influential leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) had made a phone call seeking his release. Yunus also offered the officials concerned bribe requesting not to publish his name in the media, the official claimed.
According to a report published by Bangla daily Manabzamin on 19 May 2007, Yunus used to lead a team of around 20 carjackers.
Quoting the DB officials, the tabloid said, "Of the detainees, Yunus is the leader of car lifters. Under his leadership, around 20 car lifters are active in the city. The members of the gang steal cars from different parts of the city and hide the cars in their designated garages."
Bangla daily Ittefaq reported, "Detained Shafiuddin admits that they, under the leadership of Yunus, steal cars from market places, shopping centres and garages. After the evening, they, in disguise of passengers, snatch taxicabs which are later used for stealing cars from garage at late night."
About the Badal Yunus case, a former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, Khandaker Ibrahim Khaled, said to Prothom Alo, "It has now come to the surface that he is not a normal businessman. He has built his business empire banking on corruption. It is just unfair to provide loan facilities to such a man."
Md Yunus Badal, who runs mostly garment enterprises under his Anontex Group, has recently come to the limelight for the reports on taking huge loans from Janata Bank. As per banking rules, Janata Bank can disburse a maximum of 25 per cent of its paid-up capital to a single borrower.
But his business entities were given loans of Tk 55.04 billion, an amount which is double the bank's paid-up capital.
This is also called the largest loan scam in Bangladesh history after Hall-Mark and BASIC Bank scams, each amounting to more or less Tk 40 billion in recent decade.
After the disclosure of Yunus' loan scam, finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said Janata Bank was once the best bank but former chairman Abul Barkat had ruined the bank.
Barkat, an economics professor at Dhaka University, was not available over phone for his comments.
SM Aminur Rahman, who served as managing director of the bank for six years when most of these loans were disbursed, said he never heard of the report that Yunus Badal was detained in connection with carjacking incident.
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.