Arafat Rahman Koko, the fugitive younger son of former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, was today sentenced to six years imprisonment by a special court for siphoning off over USD 2.66 million as bribes from two foreign companies.
Judge Mohammad Mozammel Hossain of the Special Court ruled that Koko was guilty of money laundering more than Taka 20 crore (USD 2.66 million) to Singapore.
The court also handed down an identical sentence to former minister Akbar Hossain's son Ismail Hossain Saimon after trying them in absentia and ordered officials to take steps to recover the amount they siphoned off abroad.
The court also fined them USD 5.13 million (Taka 38.83) crore each.
"Their punishment will be effective from the day of their arrest or surrender," the judgment said.
According to the chargesheet, Koko was accused of taking bribes from China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. and the German telecom giant Siemens' subsidiary in Bangladesh to facilitate their win in government contracts during Khaleda's premiership in 2001-2006.
Koko, who has refused to return for trial and living in Bangkok, was arrested on September 2007 on graft charges under a massive anti-corruption campaign of the earlier interim government and was paroled for treatment abroad in July 2008.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) carried out an investigation teaming up with United States and British authorities to recover millions of dollars stashed by Koko and several other high-profile suspects in Singapore banks.