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MP condemns failed deportation system which allowed leader of chid sex gang to walk free


Qari Abdul Rauf, 51, was jailed in 2012 and told he would be sent back to his native Pakistan. He was ­convicted of being part of the Rochdale child sex scandal in which dozens of girls as young as 13 were assaulted or raped. But Rauf, who was freed on licence in 2014 after serving only two and a half years of a six-year sentence, has been photographed shopping in a Rochdale grocery store.

Last night, the town’s MP Tony Lloyd slammed the system that left sex abuse victims at risk of meeting Rauf on the street without warning.

He said: “The situation is ludicrous. I have spoken personally to the Home Secretary about this.

“We were ­promised that one result of the prison sentence would be deportation but despite all the talk, we are still waiting. His victims are entitled to know why, despite all the tough talking from various home secretaries, we have seen no action.

“I have said to Priti Patel that she has promised to do something but the public have no confidence. If you talk the talk, then you have to take action.

“There is something wrong with the system if he and the others who were convicted are allowed to delay indefinitely and remain here.

“Enough time has gone by. Theresa May promised to do something in her day and Priti Patel has promised the same, so get on with it.”

Muslim preacher Rauf and eight other predators were jailed in 2012 for the abuse of their young victims which was the basis of an award-winning BBC dramatisation Three Girls.

Rauf was found guilty of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with ­children under 16 and trafficking for sexual exploitation. He was freed in November 2014 and returned home to his wife and five children.

The Home Office told Rauf and ­fellow abusers Abdul Aziz, 50, and Adil Khan, 51, that they would be stripped of their UK citizenship and deported to Pakistan. Both Aziz and Khan are believed to be still living in the Rochdale area.

In 2015, Mrs May, then the Home Secretary, ruled that the three men, who had dual British and Pakistani citizenship, should have their names deleted from the roll of British citizens.

The trio lodged an appeal which was rejected on all grounds in 2018 by the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber. But they still retain the right of a further appeal against the ­deportation order.

Maggie Oliver, the former Greater Manchester police detective who helped expose the grooming gangs and highlighted police failures, said that Rauf being free in Rochdale was “another kick in the teeth” for the victims after the gang members received “pitiful” sentences.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The cases of foreign national ­offenders involved in these crimes have recently been reviewed at the request of the Home Secretary and we intend to update the victims through the proper channels.”

Judge Gerald Clifton, who jailed the gang at Liverpool Crown Court in May 2012, said victims were “raped callously, viciously and violently”.

The deputy mayor of Greater Manchester, with responsibility for policing, Bev Hughes, has called for all three men to be deported “as swiftly as possible” saying their “presence in the community will be very distressing to those affected by the appalling crimes they perpetrated.”


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