DETECTIVES found four agreements from witnesses, promising not to attend court in a £300,000 fraud trial, on the desk of a Nelson lawyer, a court heard.
Police raided the offices of Majed Iqbal, in Bradford, and also discovered evidence he had been abroad when the pledges were signed, Hull Crown Court was told.
Iqbal, 32, of Elizabeth Street, Nelson, is alleged to have ‘paid off’ victims in an international scam centring on a bogus energy drink.
Three brothers are said to have marketed worldwide ‘exclusive’ rights to a beverage bearing the famous ‘Duracell’ branding – without the authority of parent company Proctor & Gamble.
Prosecutors say Iqbal and one of the brothers, Yassar Hussain, were arrested at Manchester Airport, returning from the signing of one of the agreements. It is alleged that a memory stick containing a video clip of Iqbal handing over a bribe to an Iranian victim was seized.
Jurors have heard that Proctor and Gamble, owners of Duracell, had rejected their idea of an energy drink, but that did not stop the scam developing. Prosecutor Mark McKone said the defendants incorporated a company called Duracell Co Ltd.
Zakar Hussain also applied for £35,000 funding from the Department of Trade and Industry to stage an exhibition in Dubai to launch the drink. To give the fraud credibility, they set up links with a Dutch brewing factory and ordered 8,000 cans with Duracell labels at a cost of £7,800.
The factory was also asked to issue invitation letters to international customers to visit the production plant.
The drink was then marketed at a three-day food trade fair, at the World Trade Centre, in Dubai.
Iqbal, Yassar Hussain, 31, and Zakar Hussain, 28, both of Ashburnham Grove, Brad- ford, each deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Yassar and Zakar Hussain, Zameer Hussain, 28, of Moorland Close, Dewsbury, and Pervez Iqbal, 38, of Dorothy Road, Birmingham, have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud over the ‘Duracell’ scam.
The court heard the fake drink was marketed at the trade fair in Dubai using dummy cans and false business cards bearing the det-ails of Proctor & Gamble, the legitmiate holders of the ‘Duracell’ name.
The trial continues.