He worked as a salesperson at different shopping malls in the capital in the 90s. Then he started smuggling in gold bars to the country, and became so good at it that his acquaintances started calling him Golden Monir.
He then opened his own jewelry store called Uma Jewellers in Baitul Mukarram Market.
In 2001, he started grabbing lands in different parts of Dhaka with the blessings from the then housing and public works minister and a section of unscrupulous officials of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and the ministry. He eventually amassed a wealth of over Tk 1,050 crore.
Rab arrested Monir yesterday after a 12-hour raid that started Friday night around 11:00 at his six-storey building on Road-11, Merul Badda.
"He amassed wealth through forging Rajuk documents, smuggling gold and committing other crimes," Lt Col Ashique Billah, Rab Legal and Media Wing director, told reporters.
"We have information that Monir owns at least 200 plots in Badda DIT Project, Nikunja, Keraniganj, Purbachal and other areas. He has admitted to owning 30," the Rab official said.
Rab officers led by Executive Magistrate Palash Kumar Bosu recovered gold ornaments weighing 8kg, Tk 1.09 crore in cash, Tk 9 lakh in forged currencies of 10 countries, five SUVs, a pistol, four bullets and four litres foreign liquor.
Officers also found forged land ownership documents and 32 fake seals of land management officials at his home and office. Using these, Monir used to take over lands belonging to other people, Rab said.
Monir is also involved in laundering money and owns a car dealership called Auto Car Selection on Pragati Sarani where Rab conducted another raid and seized three SUVs without papers, Ashique said.
Officers seized two other SUVs that he used, but didn't have ownership documents of either.
Ashique said Rab raided the properties after receiving the information provided by an intelligence agency.
A Rab source said Monir had plans to leave the country for Dubai yesterday. Rab also seized his passport.
Sources said Monir was once a close aide to a former BNP leader and ward commissioner. Officials said Monir was a financier of a political party.
In 2007, he was accused in several cases for gold smuggling. In 2019, Rajuk sued him for illegally possessing and forging documents of 70 flats. Besides, the Anti-Corruption Commission sued him over illegal wealth.
Rab said at least three cases will be filed against Monir for possessing firearms, foreign liquor and foreign currency.
Besides, Rab will write to the Anti-Corruption Commission, National Board of Revenue, BRTA and CID to launch investigations on him.
Refuting the allegations, Monir's son Mohammad Rafi told reporters that his father is a well-known businessman.
He added that his father booked air ticket for Dubai for a medical check-up. He also denied any political involvement of his father.