Policeman helped gangster brother
Published 04/11/2010 | 16:32
A corrupt police officer helped his drug gang "enforcer" brother by hiding a cache of weapons and intimidating witnesses, it can now be reported.
Salim Razaq, 33, a Lancashire Police sergeant, had three machine guns, bundles of ammunition and more than £70,000 of laundered cash hidden at his home.
Razaq was caught when he plotted to help his brother Hafiz, known as "The Enforcer" and "Big Haf", escape prosecution for his role in a violent turf war between drugs gangs in Preston. He pleaded guilty last month to perverting the course of justice, possession of firearms and ammunition as well as misconduct in a public office.
Judge Henry Globe QC, at Liverpool Crown Court, lifted reporting restrictions on Razaq's crimes after he was cleared of mortgage fraud in separate proceedings.
Police bugged phone calls that Hafiz, 25, made from prison to his brother while awaiting trial for kidnapping and beating up a rival as part of a drug-related "turf war". The pair were overheard discussing their money laundering and witness intimidation plans.
Lancashire Police's Professional Standards Department swooped on the sergeant's home in Chorley Road, Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, in March and found a Sten machine gun and two Uzi machine guns hidden under the stairs. The cash totalling £72,000 was found in Salim's bedroom.
Razaq joined Lancashire Constabulary in March 2001 and worked his way up to the rank of sergeant, covering the town of Nelson, in January 2009. He was sacked by Lancashire Police in June after the force implemented a rarely-used Special Case Hearing procedure to fast-track his dismissal.
Razaq pleaded guilty last month to misconduct in a public office, two charges of perverting the course of justice, three charges of possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, and also conspiracy to transfer criminal property and conspiracy to acquire or retain criminal property.
Gulshan Razaq, 58, the mother of Salim and Hafiz, also admitted last month to perverting the course of justice by intimidating witnesses in the Preston trial. And gang members Jason Lawrenson, 26, of HMP Preston, and Daniel Cookson, 25, of Yewtree Avenue, Ribbleton, admitted money laundering. Louis Bamber, 22, of HMP Liverpool, admitted possession of a firearm. All will be sentenced along with the former police officer on November 11.
Speaking outside court, Andy Cooke, Assistant Chief Constable of Lancashire Police, said: "Salim Razaq was nothing short of a criminal in a police uniform and I am appalled by the fact that a police officer was involved at the level he was in this criminality. However, I am extremely proud of the Lancashire officers who put this case together, the quality of which is reflected in the guilty pleas. I am sure that the sentences will reflect the seriousness of these crimes."