A convicted Rochdale grooming gang leader is still living in the UK nearly nine years after he was ordered to be deported.
In a case that shocked the nation, nine Asian men were convicted in 2012 of a range of sexual offences against children including rape, trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children in and around Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
Ringleader Qari Abdul Rauf was told he would be packed off to Pakistan after serving a jail term for child sex offences.
But Rauf, 54, is still enjoying life in Britain and spending time with his family, MailOnline discovered.
Convicted Rochdale groomer Abdul Rauf (pictured) seen leaving his home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester on January 18, 2024
Rauf was pictured on January 18, 2024, being collected from his home in Rochdale by a friend who was taking him for a trip out
Although Rauf was stripped of his British citizenship, his deportation has been held up as Pakistan has reportedly refused to take him back. He is pictured leaving his family home in Rochdale on January 18, 2024
Although he was stripped of his British citizenship, his deportation has been held up as Pakistan — the other country where he enjoyed dual nationality — reportedly refused to take him back.
Last week he was collected by a friend and driven off for a trip out, our exclusive photos show.
Rauf refused to comment and initially denied that he was the convicted pervert when approached.
Schoolchildren regularly walk past the £140,000 three-bedroom red brick semi-detached house in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, where he lives.
Former taxi driver and Muslim preacher Rauf was jailed in 2012 for the scandal which was later dramatised in the BBC drama ‘Three Girls’.
He was jailed for six years after being convicted of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under 16 and trafficking for sexual exploitation.
But he was freed on licence in November 2014 after just two-and-a-half years in prison. He then returned home to his wife and five children.
The Home Office told him he would be stripped of his UK citizenship in 2015 and returned to his native Pakistan with fellow abusers Abdul Aziz and Adil Khan.
They lost an appeal in 2018 against the ruling to strip them of their citizenship rights.
Rauf and fellow defendant Adil Khan were both ordered to be sent back to Pakistan on their release but their lawyers appealed.
Alongside Adil Khan, Rauf sought to claim in 2022 that his forced removal would be incompatible with his human rights, but that appeal failed.
In August 2023, immigration judges refused another further appeal from Rauf’s lawyers – whose identities have been protected by way of an unusual court order.
Photos exclusive to Mail Online show Rochdale groomer Abdul Rauf getting in to his friends car who was taking him for a trip out on January 18, 2024
Former taxi driver and Muslim preacher Rauf was jailed in 2012 for the scandal which was later dramatised in the BBC drama ‘Three Girls’. When approached by Mail Online on January 18, Rauf refused to comment and denied that he was the convicted pervert when approached
But the pair’s removal has been delayed because Pakistan, is reportedly refusing to allow them to return.
Both men claimed during their deportation appeals that they have renounced their Pakistani citizenships, rendering them ‘stateless’.
A previous hearing concluded that it would be ‘relatively easy’ for the pair to reclaim their Pakistani nationalities but that they were ‘unwilling’ to do so.
A new hard-hitting report released last week concluded that at least 96 men who pose a potential risk to children continue to roam the Greater Manchester area, but admits they are likely ‘only a proportion of the individuals’ committing sex abuse.
Following on from a 2013 report that examined how abuse was allowed to continue for so long before any convictions were secured, the damning 173-page paper slammed police and council bosses for failing to act on early reports of grooming.
A Home Office spokesperson said they could not comment on individual cases but added in a statement: ‘The disgraceful failures in Rochdale must never happen again. That’s why we have set up a dedicated Taskforce of specialist officers to tackle grooming gangs, helping forces target those who prey on young people and bring them to justice, and will introduce mandatory reporting for adults working with young people if someone in their care is being sexually abused.
‘We know we must do more to protect vulnerable children and our new Criminal Justice Bill will look to further protect victims and make sure grooming gangs and their leaders face the toughest possible sentences.’