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Friday, March 6, 2015, Falgun 22, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 14, 1436 Hijr

JASAS leader's son jailed in US for plot to kidnap Joy
Observer Online Desk
Published : Friday, 6 March, 2015,  Time : 10:16 PM,  View Count : 8
A US court has sentenced two persons, including a Bangladeshi national, for their involvement in bribing an FBI agent to collect information on Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to kidnap him and his family and to harm them.

The Bangladesh national was identified as Rizvi Ahmed Ceaser, 36, son of Mohammed Ullah Mamun of Fairfield, Connecticut, vice president of pro-BNP organization JASAS.

Ceaser was jailed for 42 months while US national Johannes Thaler, 51, was sentenced to 30 months in prison. The sentences were imposed by US District Judge Vincent L Briccetti of the Southern District of New York on Thursday, according to US Department of Justice.

In October 2014, both the defendants pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services fraud.

Both Thaler and Ceaser admitted to participating in a bribery scheme with Robert Lustyik, a former FBI special agent in White Plains who worked with a counterintelligence squad.

Thaler was Lustyik's friend, and Ceaser was an acquaintance of Thaler. Ceaser sought confidential law enforcement information, including a "Suspicious Activity Report," pertaining to Joy.

In pleading guilty, Thaler and Ceaser admitted that between September 2011 and March 2012, Thaler and Lustyik solicited bribes from Ceaser, in exchange for Lustyik's agreement to provide internal, confidential documents and other confidential information to which Lustyik had access by virtue of his position as an FBI special agent.

As part of the scheme, Lustyik and Thaler exchanged text messages about how to pressure Ahmed to pay them additional money in exchange for confidential information, stated the US Justice Department press release.

Ceaser also confessed that he was advised by BNP High Command only to collect information on Joy and for that, he would get half a million US dollar.

He convinced two of his American co-conspirators to pay them $40,000 upfront and $30,000 per month if they can accomplish their job.

Ceaser also wanted them to erase all criminal records on Arafat Rahman Koko and Tarique Zia, sons of BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, from US FBI or intelligence records.

It is also reported that Ceaser was present with his family on March 4 at the court and he got bail till April 20. His imprisonment will start from April 20, 2015.

The other culprit, veteran US Counterterrorism special agent Robert Lustyik will be sentenced soon.

The case was investigated by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, and prosecuted by Trial Attorney Emily Rae Woods of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section and Assistant US Attorney Benjamin Allee of the Southern District of New York.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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