A Dhaka court yesterday fixed August 18 for hearing on a petition seeking a court order to bring back Tk 19.7 crore that Arafat Rahman Koko, Khaleda Zia's younger son, had allegedly siphoned off to Singapore.
Judge (In charge) Mohammad Ismail Hossain of the Senior Special Judge's Court passed the order after Koko's lawyer submitted a petition praying for adjournment of the hearing.
On June 29 this year, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam sent letters to the governor of Bangladesh Bank and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) chairman asking them to take necessary steps for bringing the money laundered by Koko and Saimon to Singapore.
In response to the letters, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank Ziaul Hasan Siddique on July 12 this year submitted the petition with the same court seeking its permission to bring back the money.
Koko's lawyers Masud Ahmed Talukder and Sanaullah Miah submitted a petition seeking adjournment of the hearing.
The co-accused in the case is Ismail Hossain Saimon, son of former shipping minister late Akbar Hossain. Saimon has been absconding the since the case was filed.
The court directed the authorities concerned to publish an advertisement in two Bangla national dailies asking Saimon to appear before it on the scheduled date.
Koko was arrested on September 2, 2007 in connection with the Gatco graft case and was later released on parole for treatment abroad.
The ACC filed the case against Koko on March 17 in 2009 under the Money Laundering Prevention Act on charge of siphoning off Tk 19.7 crore to Singapore.
According to the deposition of the ACC, a portion of the money deposited to Koko's bank account was from an account of China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd in the USA.
China Harbour was operating in Bangladesh during the time of the transfer of the money as it was constructing the New Mooring Container Terminal.
The ACC submitted the charge sheet to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court of Dhaka on November 12 last year.
On November 15, 2009 the court accepted the charge sheet against Koko and Saimon.
KOKO'S TAX EVASION CASE
The same court yesterday asked Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Kafrul Police Station to submit report by August 18 to it on execution of arrest warrant against Koko in connection with a tax evasion case.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) filed the case against Koko on March 1 on charge of evading income tax on his income of Tk 52.39 lakh between 2002-2003 and 2006-2007 fiscal years.
Koko, who is now abroad for treatment, repeatedly provided false information about his real income and expenditure, alleged the NBR statement.
Four other cases, including a graft and an extortion case, were also filed against him during the time when he was in jail.