Published On: Mon, Feb 23rd, 2015 on 3:17 pm

International energy drink fraudster from Bradford must pay back £300k

A fraudster who co-organised an international drink scam has to pay £300,000 following a Proceeds of Crime hearing.

West Yorkshire Police secured the confiscation against Yasar Hussain, 33, who was convicted in his absence in 2013 for his role in a scam fraudulently using the famous Duracell battery brand.

Duracell Energy Drink

Energy drinks under Duracell’s name.

Hussain, who is from Bradford, will have to pay £300,000 in six months or face an extra three and a quarter years on top of the sentence he will eventually serve when he is caught.

The confiscation was ordered at Hull Crown Court last Tuesday after the court ruled the figure had been his benefit from the scam for which he was convicted of fraud and money laundering offences.

He fled halfway through the original trial at Humberside Crown Court in January 2013 for which he and two other defendants were found guilty of setting up a fraudulent energy drink company named Duracell Energy Drinks Ltd, taking orders and offering exclusive regional marketing rights to companies across the globe.

This was despite never having a product to sell after Proctor and Gamble refused those involved the license to sell the product using the Duracell brand.

Five drinks companies defrauded

Through the setting up of fraudulent business accounts the defendants defrauded five drinks companies from Dubai, Hong Kong, Iran and Hungary of over £312,000 in advance fees.

The business was closed down in August 2009 before the victims could complain about a lack of supply or non-return of monies.

Between 23 February and 28 February 2009 the defendants set a stall at the Gulfood Trade Fair at the World Trade Centre in Dubai, duping reps from drinks companies into paying for exclusive sale rights and making orders for the Duracell Energy Drink, of which several thousand dummy cans were made to help facilitate the scam.

After the police were informed, an operation by West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Division was launched and in November 2009 suspects were arrested.

Luxury cars and nearly £10,000 in cash was seized.

“He is a wanted man”

David Charity, Financial Investigation Manager for West Yorkshire Police, said: “Hussain played his part in a well organised and convincing scam that conned a number of foreign businesses out of hundreds of thousands of pounds and that has been recognised be the court in setting this confiscation.

“Unless this money is paid within six months when he is caught he will face an extra three and a quarter years on top of whatever sentence he is ordered to serve for his role in the crime.”

DC Samantha Davies of West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Team said: “Active enquiries remain ongoing to find Yasar Hussain, but he has so far evaded detection and is on the run.

“He played his part in a well organised and convincing scam that conned a number of foreign businesses out of hundreds of thousands of pounds. He is a wanted man and we are determined to catch him and see him sentenced for his crimes.

“I continue to appeal for anyone who knows of Yasar Hussain’s whereabouts to contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”

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