A FATHER-OF-TWO who acted as a ''banker'' for drug dealers has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.
Tariq Hussain’s offending dated back as far as May, 2008, when police found over £4,000 in cash at his Huddersfield home.
But his sentencing was delayed after he went on the run.
The 28-year-old, of Springdale Street, Thornton Lodge, also used criminal cash to pay for short-term insurance policies on luxury cars and it was while he was already on bail for those matters that police seized nearly £60,000 in cash from a wardrobe at his house in November, 2009.
Prosecutor Ian Brook told Bradford Crown Court that it was believed by the prosecution that Hussain himself was a drug dealer and the court heard that he took foreign holidays to Morocco and Turkey, owned a £600 leather jacket and was seen in January, 2009, driving a BMW.
But Hussain’s barrister Abdul Iqbal highlighted the fact that his client had only been charged with money-laundering offences and there was no evidence of a stock of drugs or other related drugs paraphernalia.
In February, 2004, Hussain was jailed for 42 months for supplying heroin and crack cocaine and Mr Iqbal said he was clearly known to drug users and traffickers.
“He became involved as the banker for the proceeds of sale of other people’s illicit drugs,” said Mr Iqbal.
“He also accepts that he gained from it. Some drugs for himself and some financial gain.”
Mr Iqbal submitted that Hussain was purchasing the car insurance policies on behalf of others who were seeking to avoid detection.
Hussain pleaded guilty to charges of possessing criminal property and converting criminal property.
Jailing Hussain Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said he could not be sure that Hussain was acting as a drug dealer, but he had pleaded to being “the banker” for associates who were involved in drug trafficking.
Judge Durham Hall said Hussain had been willing to assist to banking and storing substantial amounts and he had clearly benefited from the offences.
After reading what he described a moving letter and reference in support of Hussain, the judge said he was moderating the immediate prison sentence in the hope that his protestations of a “change of heart” were true.
In addition to the prison term Judge Durham Hall also made a confiscation order totalling just over £63,000 in relation to the cash seized during the police inquiry.
Police made an appeal back in March to trace Hussain, when he failed to turn up for a court hearing.
They said he had links to South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Pakistan.
He was eventually caught in April in Shipley.