Rochdale grooming gang leader still in the UK years after he was due to be deported to Pakistan

22 January 2024, 11:00

Rauf is still living in Rochdale
Rauf is still living in Rochdale. Picture: GMP/Alamy

By Will Taylor

A convicted leader in a Rochdale grooming gang is still in the UK - almost a decade after he was meant to be deported to Pakistan.

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Qari Abdul Rauf was meant to be kicked out of the country after being jailed for six years for conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under 16 and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The ex-taxi driver and Muslim preacher was let out after serving just two-and-a-half years behind bars and went back to his wife and children.

He was stripped of his citizenship in 2015 and was told he would be sent back to his native Pakistan, but launched appeals against it.

Read more: Grooming gangs found in Rochdale ‘happening all over the country’, Jess Phillips tells LBC

He failed to argue it would be against his human rights in a 2022 hearing, then lost another last year.

Pakistan reportedly refuses to allow them to come back and he, along with Adil Khan, another abuser, argue they have renounced their citizenship of the Asian country and would be left stateless.

Rauf has not yet been deported to Pakistan
Rauf has not yet been deported to Pakistan. Picture: GMP

He continues to live in Rochdale, where nine Asian men were convicted for rape, trafficking and child sex offences in the area.

It comes as a report found dozens of men remain a potential risk to children.

The 173-page findings, commissioned by Greater Manchester's mayor Andy Burnham, said children were "left at the mercy" of grooming gangs for years and outlined a series of failed investigations by Greater Manchester Police between 2004 and 2013.

There was an indifference from local authorities to the plight of hundreds of youngsters, mainly white girls from poor backgrounds, all identified as potential victims of abuse in Rochdale by Asian men, the review found.

It identified 96 men that still pose a possible risk to children, but this is "only a proportion" of the numbers involved in the abuse.

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