Lancashire

Lancashire drug conspiracy police sergeant jailed

A Lancashire police sergeant who was involved in a major drug-dealing operation with his brother has been jailed for 11-and-a-half years.

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 ex-officer, of Walton-le-Dale, was sentenced alongside his brother and mother at Liverpool Crown Court.

Razaq, who was sacked from his job in June, also pleaded guilty to possessing ammunition, conspiracy to transfer criminal property and conspiracy to acquire or retain criminal property.

He admitted misconduct in public office by wrongfully accessing Lancashire Police's Sleuth computer database to obtain information about his family and acquaintances.

'Scare witnesses'

The officer was caught plotting to help his brother, Hafiz - known as "The Enforcer" and "Big Haf" - escape prosecution for his role in a violent turf war between drug gangs in Preston.

Police were listening in on phone calls 25-year-old Hafiz made to his brother from jail in which they discussed money-laundering and plans to scare witnesses.

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

Hafiz Razaq, who is already serving a six year sentence for a conspiracy to kidnap offence, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison.

His mother was given a 44-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Both had admitted perverting the course of justice and Hafiz also admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Three others also admitted offences. Jason Lawrenson, 26, currently in HMP Preston, and Daniel Cookson, 25, of Yewtree Avenue, Ribbleton, admitted money laundering.

Louis Bamber, 22, currently in HMP Liverpool, admitted possession of a firearm.

Lawrenson was jailed for two years and eight months, Cookson for 16 months and Bamber for 18 months.

On sentencing, Judge Henry Globe QC told Salim Razaq: "A significant and lengthy sentence is justified.

"It amounts to a breach of trust, a dereliction of duty and it amounts to extremely serious and persistent criminal offending whilst ostensibly, supposedly upholding criminal justice in your capacity as a serving police officer.

"Your actions have brought potential discredit to the police force."

Speaking after the case, Assistant Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary Andy Cooke said: "I am pleased with today's sentences which reflect the gravity of the offences."

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