(Jan. 27, 2009) On January 8, 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a forfeiture action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Arafat Rahman, known as “Coco” or “Koko,” the son of the former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia. He is alleged to have taken bribe in connection with public works projects awarded by the Bangladesh government to Siemens AG, a German corporation, and China Harbor Engineering Company, a Chinese corporation. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Washington Field Office in cooperation with Bangladeshi law enforcement officials.
U.S. jurisdiction and money laundering laws cover financial transactions that flow through American financial institutions involving proceeds of offenses occurring outside the United States. On December 15, 2008, Siemens and three of its subsidiaries pleaded guilty to charges related to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The forfeiture action was filed against funds held in Singapore by several account holders, including Arafat Rahman. (U.S. Seeks to Recover $3m Coco Bribe Money, FINANCIAL EXPRESS, Jan. 11, 2009, available at http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.info/2009/01/11/55623.html; Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Justice Seeks to Recover Approximately $3 Million in Illegal Proceeds from Foreign Bribe Payments(Jan. 9, 2009), available at http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2009/January/09-crm-020.html.)