A Bradford councillor has urged his fugitive son to surrender himself to police.
Yasar Hussain absconded last November on the first day of a Crown Court trial into money-laundering and perverting the course of justice in relation to a fake drinks scam based on the famous Duracell brand.
It was initially believed he had fled to Dubai, although police now believe he could be in the UK.
Hussain, 31, of Ashburnham Grove, Manningham, was found guilty in his absence of 13 counts of money-laundering and perverting the course of justice by the jury last December.
As reported in yesterday’s Telegraph & Argus he was sentenced on Monday to seven-and-a-half years in jail by Judge Mark Bury at Hull Crown Court.
Now, Hussain’s father Coun Shabir Hussain (Lab, Manningham) has sent a personal plea to his son to turn himself in but he insisted that he has no idea where he is.
“We want him to come back,” said Coun Hussain. “He should be here facing the charges.
“We haven’t spoke to him. We don’t know where he is and we haven’t seen him since he absconded. We are worried about him and I hope he is safe. It is hurting us as well, he is our flesh and blood.”
Coun Hussain said his son had sent an e-mail to the courts insisting his trial would not be a fair one.
“He isn’t a scammer,” said Coun Hussain. “If he thinks there is no justice, he should appeal. Being a fugitive doesn’t help you, he can’t keep going.
It is affecting his family. His mum is very upset – it doesn’t matter how old the child is, it is still a child to a mother.”
He also protested his son’s innocence, saying Hussain had written to Procter & Gamble, which owns Duracell, asking to go into partnership on the energy drink.
“He is a lad who is full of life and full of ideas,” said Coun Hussain. “I cannot see him conning anyone.
“He had a fantastic idea, he thought it was a genuine idea, but someone pulled the plug.
“He has done no harm to anyone. He gave his home address out – if he was a con-merchant, he wouldn’t have done that.”
Bradford West MP George Galloway, whose constituency includes Manningham, has urged Coun Hussain to do all he can to ensure his son turns himself in.