Four members of UK 'sex gang' face deportation to Pakistan

| Updated: Feb 10, 2017 16:15 IST

London [UK], Feb. 10 (ANI): Four men convicted of grooming minor girls for sex are facing deportation to Pakistan after losing a legal appeal against the government's decision to revoke their British citizenship. The men, who preyed on teenage girls in Rochdale, England by plying them with drink and drugs before they were "passed around" for sex, could be removed from the UK permanently, reports the Guardian. Identified as Shabir Ahmed, Adil Khan, Abdul Rauf and Abdul Aziz, all from Rochdale, had their cases dismissed on all grounds by immigration judges. The ruling by the upper tribunal of the immigration and asylum chamber paves the way for the men, all of dual British-Pakistani nationality who acquired British citizenship by naturalisation, to be removed from the UK - but it is only the first stage in what could be a protracted process. Ahmed was convicted in 2012 of being the ringleader of a group of Asian men who preyed on girls as young as 13 in Rochdale. He is serving a 22-year jail sentence after being convicted of a string of child sexual abuse offences including rape. Judges dismissed five different grounds of appeal, including an argument by three of the men that the government had failed in a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of their children. The ruling also threw out a complaint of "disproportionate interference" with the men's rights as EU citizens and rejected claims concerning human rights laws. The four men can apply for permission to appeal against the judge's decision. Ahmed remains in custody, while the other three have been released on licence. Khan, Rauf and Aziz were convicted of charges of conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation. Ahmed previously took his case to the European court of human rights (ECHR) claiming that his all-white jury was biased, in breach of article 6 of the European convention on human rights which guarantees a fair trial. Judges in Strasbourg unanimously threw out his case, finding there was "simply no proof" jurors acted improperly. (ANI)