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Tahir Zarif: Gunman who shot dead granddad and fled UK jailed for life

Tahir Zarif fled to Pakistan after murdering Akhtar Javeed at his warehouse (Picture: SWNS)

A man who shot dead a grandfather while trying to rob his warehouse before fleeing to Pakistan has been jailed for life for murder.

Tahir Zarif, 31, from Derby, and three other men stormed a fast food distribution warehouse in Birmingham owned by Akhtar Javeed, 56, in 2016.

The raid ‘went horrifically wrong’ when Mr Javeed tried to escape, a cout was told, prompting Zarif to gun him down in cold blood.

The gang had bound staff with cable ties in the office area and threatened them while Zarif dragged Mr Javeed toward a safe where the company’s takings were kept.

Zarif fired two shots in the air and one into the businessman’s leg as a brutal warning to open the safe.

Mr Javeed then managed to get his hands free and staggered toward the exit but was shot again in the throat and chest.

Despite the wounds he stumbled out of the premises, crossing a car park before collapsing in the street.

Zarif fled the UK five days after the murder but was tracked down by detectives and detained in Mirpur in 2018 before being extradited from Pakistan in 2020.

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Footage shows Zarif laughing as he fired a submachine gun in Pakistan a year before the murder (Picture: SWNS)

He was seen smiling at the camera in footage of the moment he was arrested by British police onboard a flight from Pakistan to London after being handed over by local authorities.

Chilling footage was released of the murderer shooting a machine gun in the Pakistani countryside a year before the murder while laughing and saying: ‘F**king hell, that’s buzzing that is.’

Zarif claimed he had shot Mr Javeed accidentally during a struggle and his defence team pointed at numerous mental health issues.

But the court was told he had shown a ‘clear willingness to use the gun’ and had an ‘intention to kill’ when he fired the fatal shots.

The gang held staff at gunpoint before binding them with cable ties (Picture: SWNS)
Zarif led Mr Javeed to the safe where he shot him in the leg (Picture: SWNS)

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years behind bars after being convicted of murder at Coventry Crown Court.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr Javeed’s daughter, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘It’s been six years and nine months since my father’s life was taken by Tahir Zarif.

‘My father has been in our thoughts every day since. As I have said before my father was an honourable gentleman.

‘Another man’s greed led to my father’s unlawful death. We are grateful to West Midlands Police for their hard work in ensuring justice is served.’

The court previously heard how one of the robbers was a disgruntled employee at the warehouse and drew a plan so they knew where to go.

In 2016, Suraj Misty, 26, was jailed for 23 years for manslaughter, while Lamar Wali, 23, and Sander van Aalten, 54, were jailed for seven years and six years eight months, respectively, for conspiracy to commit robbery.

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