Wrong to deport Rochdale grooming gang members, immigration tribunal told

Abdul Aziz

A ringleader of the Rochdale grooming gang has avoided being deported and it would therefore be wrong to deport two other gang members, an Immigration Tribunal has heard.

Abdul Azizwas told by the Home Office that despite losing an appeal depriving him of UK citizenship, the first step before deportation to Pakistan, he would not in fact lose his citizenship and was allowed to remain in the UK

The 51-year-old, who has been referred to by the gang as "The Master", was one of nine gang members jailed in 2012 for a catalogue of child sex offences in Rochdale.

Along with two other gang members, he was liable to be deprived of UK citizenship and deported as they also held Pakistani nationality, and then-home secretary Theresa May ruled it would be “conducive to the public good”.

Since release from jail they have fought a long legal battle against deportation, spanning several years, on the grounds that deportation would interfere with their human rights.

Adil Khan and Qari Abdul Rauf - Rochdale grooming gang members.

Adil Khan, 51, and Qari Abdul Rauf, 52, are continuing their appeal against deportation at an Immigration Tribunal, but Aziz had already been told he will not be stripped of his UK citizenship and deported.

Aziz had renounced his Pakistani citizenship on July 13, 2018, six years after he was jailed, but just days before the Court of Appeal ruled he could be deprived of his UK citizenship.

Rauf and Khan only renounced their Pakistani citizenship in September of the same year after the Court of Appeal ruling.

Lawyers for Rauf said the law demands consistency of treatment and although Rauf could regain his Pakistani nationality simply by signing a form, he refuses to do so because he does not want to be deported.

Khan told the hearing, “I have a question for the Home Secretary, whether Mr Aziz was an angel and I am a devil?”

Aziz was jailed for nine years in 2012, for conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child by penetrative sex and trafficking for sexual exploitation a 15-year-old girl.

He took his victim to flats in Rochdale where she was plied with vodka and drugs and coerced into sex with gangs of men in return for payment to him.

Rauf’s lawyers also said deportation would be a breach under articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, arising out of their individual circumstances relating to their private and family life.Khan, then in his 40s, impregnated a 13-year-old girl, refusing to accept the child was his until a DNA test was done.

He then met the other girl he trafficked to others for sex, using violence when she objected.

Rauf, a father-of-five, trafficked a 15-year-old girl for sex, driving her to secluded areas to have sex with her in his taxi and ferrying her to a flat in Rochdale where he and others had sex with her.

The hearing was adjourned with a decision on deportation expected later this year.

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