Photo: Munir uz Zaman,Drik*NEWS.
All the early editions are carrying the news in some shape or form that that the US justice department is requesting a court order to return the money paid out as bribes either in US dollars or went via US banking institutions. This includes at least portion of the Tk. 11 crore we reported on before.
Here is what the Department of justice is saying:
The forfeiture action was filed Jan. 8, 2009, in U.S. District Court in the
District of Columbia against funds located in Singapore held by multiple account
holders. The forfeiture complaint relates primarily to alleged bribes paid to
Arafat “Koko” Rahman, the son of the former prime minister of Bangladesh, in
connection with public works projects awarded by the government of Bangladesh to
Siemens AG and China Harbor Engineering Company. According to the
forfeiture complaint, the majority of funds in Koko’s account are traceable to
bribes allegedly received in connection with the China Harbor project, which was
a project to build a new mooring containment terminal at the port in Chittagong,
“This action shows the lengths to which U.S. law enforcement will
go to recover the proceeds of foreign corruption, including acts of bribery and
money laundering,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich.
“Not only will the Department, for example, prosecute companies and executives
who violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, we will also use our forfeiture
laws to recapture the illicit facilitating payments often used in such
Siemens Aktiengesellschaft (Siemens AG), a German corporation, and
three of its subsidiaries pleaded guilty on Dec. 15, 2008, to violations of and
charges related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Specifically,
Siemens Bangladesh admitted that from May 2001 to August 2006, it caused corrupt payments of at least $5,319,839 to be made through purported business
consultants to various Bangladeshi officials in exchange for favorable treatment
during the bidding process on a mobile telephone project. At least one
payment to each of these purported consultants was paid from a U.S. bank
According to the forfeiture complaint, the bribe payments from
Siemens AG and China Harbor Engineering Company were made in U.S. dollars, and
the illicit funds flowed through financial institutions in the United States
before they were deposited in accounts in Singapore, thereby subjecting them to
U.S. jurisdiction. Money laundering laws in the United States cover financial
transactions that flow through the United States involving proceeds of foreign
offenses, including foreign bribery and extortion.
Thailand (where he is now) has extradition treaties with the USA, so that may not be safe for Mr. Arafat Rahman for too long.The traditional country to abscond when US law enforcement comes after someone is Brazil, as there is no extradition treaty between Brazil and USA.
Ticket to Rio for one, please. Yes, one-way.
J @ Shada Kalo [http://shadakalo.blogspot.com] writes using a pseudonym and is best known for exposing government, military, corporate foul plays through whistle-blowing investigative reports.