A murder suspect who went on the run following a fatal stabbing in Lancashire may be being harboured by associates in Edinburgh.
Police believe Naeem Majid Butt fled to the capital following the death of 24-year-old Saheel Ahmed in an alley in Little Harwood, near Blackburn, last month.
Mr Ahmed body was found in the early hours of June 22 after he was chased by another man wielding a knife. He suffered multiple stab wounds in what police believe may have been an honour killing. One line of enquiry being pursued by detectives is that the victim was having an affair with Mr Butt's wife.
Later that day, 37-year-old Butt was caught on a train CCTV camera, travelling to Edinburgh’s Haymarket from Manchester Picadilly.
Speaking on Wednesday, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Gray, from Lancashire Constabulary's major investigation team, said: "We believe that Naeem Butt is being harboured by associates within Edinburgh who are themselves committing a criminal offence and will be liable to arrest and prosecution.
"I am in Edinburgh today working with my colleagues from Lothian and Borders Police as this murder investigation continues. This was a brutal murder and I would urge Naeem Butt to surrender himself to the police and for anyone who knows of his whereabouts to come forward."
Within hours of the killing, an armed response unit raided the Edinburgh home of Imtiaz Ali, the suspect’s former father-in-law. He told STV News his street in the city’s Northfield area was sealed off while a police helicopter, armed police and a dog team pounced on his property.
However, Mr Ali said he was estranged from his first family and had not seen his daughter or Mr Butt for seven years.
On Wednesday, police raided a number of further addresses in Edinburgh, including Drummond Street near the city centre, while Lothian and Borders Police issued a fresh appeal for information.
Chief Inspector Tony Beveridge, from Lothian and Borders Police, said: "Officers from Lothian and Borders Police and Lancashire Constabulary have this morning been involved in raids on addresses in Edinburgh as part of the search for Naeem Butt.
"We have been working closely with our Lancashire colleagues in order to bring this search to a successful conclusion and we have significant resources in place as part of this effort.
"At this time there is nothing to indicate that Naeem Butt presents an immediate risk to the public. However, we would advise anyone who sees him not to approach him, but to contact police immediately.”
Butt is described as 5ft 10in tall, of slim to medium build with dark hair and brown eyes. He has a piercing in both ears as well as a number of distinctive tattoos, including a scorpion and peacock on his left arm and a cobra on his left hand.
New CCTV images of him on the day of the killing show him wearing a black overcoat and trousers.
Anyone with information on Mr Butt's whereabouts is asked to contact Lancashire Constabulary on 01254 51212, Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.