Shamima Nur Papiya, expelled general secretary of Jubo Mohila League's Narsingdi district unit, found a career in politics through her husband Mofizur Rahman Sumon.
In 2010, she formed a gang of hooligans in her locality after becoming the convener of the district unit of the Chhatra League.
She used her gang to amass a large amount of money illegal through extortion, drug peddling, arms trade and many other crimes.
Papiya is believed to have developed good relations with many Awami League and Jubo League leaders by paying them money.
Despite strong protest from local leaders, it was the power of money that helped her become the general secretary of the district Jubo Mohila League in 2018.
Papiya ran a prostitution racket at various luxury hotels in the capital by using her political identity.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said Papiya lured poor women from Narsingdi by promising them good jobs, and later forced them into sex work.
Without having any specific job, the couple owns four flats altogether in Dhaka and in Narsingdi, four luxury cars, two plots of land, a showroom named "Car Exchange", and investment worth Tk40 lakh in an organisation in Narsingdi named KMC Car wash and Auto Solution, among other assets.
Papiya has supposedly siphoned off money aboard. Detectives are now on the hunt for her illegal wealth at home and abroad.
Police said a case will be filed against her under the money laundering prevention act.
Md Faruk Hossain, additional superintendent of the Criminal Investigation Department, told The Business Standard that three cases have been filed against her for supplying counterfeit banknotes and drugs, and involvement in other illicit activities.
The CID will observe the cases. They will file another lawsuit if any other matter comes to light in the investigation, he added.
On Saturday, Papiya and her husband along with their accomplices were arrested from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka when they were trying to flee the country. The RAB seized counterfeit notes, foreign currency and around Tk2.5 lakh from their possession.
After their arrest, the RAB raided different parts of Dhaka and Narsingdi based on the information they had given during primary interrogation.
On Monday, a Dhaka court placed Papiya and her husband Suman on 15-day remand each in three cases.
Their associates – Sabbir Khandaker and Sheikh Taiyaba Nur – have been put on five day remand each.
Sources said Papiya had good relations with many influential leaders of the Awami League and the Jubo League, including a female lawmaker. Detectives have evidence that she took undue advantage from them at different times.
Detectives have also got hold of photos and videos of some rich and influential people who were regular customers of her service. Papiya made a huge amount of money by blackmailing these people with the video clips.
With Papiya under arrest, many influential political leaders and businessmen are worried that Papiya might reveal their names during interrogation.