Lancashire

Lancashire police officer Salim Razaq was drug dealer

A Lancashire police sergeant was "actively involved" in a major drug dealing operation with his brother, Liverpool Crown Court has been told.

Salim Razaq, 33, hid guns, intimidated witnesses and tried to use drug money to fund his gangster brother's bail.

He previously admitted perverting the course of justice, possessing firearms and misconduct in a public office.

The sentencing hearing for the officer, of Walton-le-Dale, his brother, mother and three others, started on Thursday.

It was adjourned until Tuesday.

Razaq also pleaded guilty to possessing ammunition, conspiracy to transfer criminal property, conspiracy to acquire or retain criminal property and misconduct in public office by wrongfully accessing Lancashire Police's "Sleuth" computer database to obtain information about family and acquaintances.

'Divided loyalty'

The officer, who was sacked in June, 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.

Police were listening in on phone calls Hafiz, 25, made to his brother from jail and the pair were overheard discussing their money laundering and witness intimidation plans.

Their attempts were unsuccessful as Hafiz Razaq was ultimately jailed for six years.

Robert Altham, prosecuting, said: "It is not that he (Salim Razaq) lost his way and found himself involved in criminality. He was actively involved."

Image caption Machine guns were found at Razaq's home during a police raid in March

Razaq "adopted the elements of a criminal lifestyle" when helping his younger brother evade justice, Mr Altham said.

He used a sequence of 12 pay-as-you-go mobile phones in an effort to hide his offending and paid for credit on a phone Hafiz was using illegally from inside prison.

"Salim was acting as his brother's agent on the outside", Mr Altham said.

He had accounts in relation to Hafiz's drugs activity, collected his debts, and laundered cash through various accounts and used it to pay for his mother's bail, Mr Altham said.

Police raided Razaq's home in March and found three machine guns, ammunition and more than £70,000 in cash.

Andrew Menary, QC, defending, said: "Salim Razaq did not start out as a bad and corrupt police officer.

"His problems and his downfall came about because of his divided loyalty.

"Salim was placed in a situation where he had to make a choice between loyalty to his family and loyalty to the rule of law and the police force."

Mr Menary said Razaq had been "a minder" of the weapons found at his home.

He said he was asked to look after them by a man he knew to be violent and he feared would harm his family.

"He had not any intention of using them himself," he added.

Hafiz Razaq, Gulshan Razaq, 58, of Chester Road, Preston, and three others also admitted charges in relation to the case.

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