"I feel violated to know he’s living near me"
Three members of the Rochdale grooming gang are living in the town, two years after losing the right to stay in the UK.
Qari Abdul Rauf, Abdul Aziz and Adil Khan all live in Rochdale 10 years after targeting girls as young as 12.
They were among nine men convicted in 2012 of a series of serious sex offences against vulnerable victims in Rochdale and Heywood.
The men have dual UK-Pakistani citizenship, therefore, they were at risk of being deported back to Pakistan. However, none of them have been deported or are facing deportation.
That is despite the Home Office saying 2015, it intended to take away their British citizenship and the men losing an appeal in 2018.
One victim said that the groomers are still living in Rochdale, a year after it was reported that victims were still spotting their attackers.
She saw pictures of Rauf on social media. She said:
“I thought Theresa May had organised his deportation, so how come he’s still here?
“I feel violated to know he’s living near me – in the same area where he hunted for girls like me.
“It’s a total betrayal of grooming victims that he’s allowed to stay.”
Aziz, a father-of-three, and Khan also live nearby following their release from prison. Aziz had played a “leading role” in the grooming gang.
He took the victim to different flats around Rochdale, plying her with cannabis and vodka and coercing her into sex with men who paid him cash.
Aziz was jailed for nine years in May 2012. He served three years and seven months before his release in December 2015.
Rauf trafficked a 15-year-old girl, driving her to secluded areas to have sex with her in his taxi. He also took her to a flat in Rochdale where he and other men had sex with her.
He was jailed for six years and released in November 2014 after serving two years and six months.
Khan got a 13-year-old girl pregnant but denied he was the father. He then met another girl, aged 15, and trafficked her, using violence when she complained.
He was jailed for eight years and was released in 2016.
Shabir Ahmed, who was known as ‘Daddy’, continues to serve a 22-year sentence.
In 2015, then-home secretary Theresa May said it would be “conducive to the public good” to deprive the grooming gang members of the right to remain in the UK.
They fought a long legal battle before losing in July 2018.
Bev Hughes, Greater Manchester Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said it is ‘completely unacceptable’ that Rauf, Aziz and Khan are still in the Rochdale area.
She said: “Their continued presence in the community will doubtless be very distressing to those affected by the appalling crimes they perpetrated.
“Greater Manchester should have been rid of them a long time ago.”
“These three appalling individuals were all found guilty of trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child in 2015.
“Five years later, and more than 18 months after they all lost their appeals against the decision to strip them of their British citizenship, they remain living in our city-region with no clear timeline as to when their deportation will be finalised.
“Only once these deportations are complete will justice finally be seen to be fully served, and only then will the community fully be able to begin to heal.
“The Mayor and I have written to successive Home Secretaries, most recently only last month, calling for assurances that the deportation of these three men is still a priority for the Home Office.
“In light of these latest revelations, we again call on Government to prioritise the processing of their departure from the UK as swiftly as possible
“When they are finally out of this country it will be not a moment too soon.”