Armed police were waiting for attack on Milap Mini Market, Chadwell Heath

Police at the scene of the attempted armed robbery

Police at the scene of the attempted armed robbery - Credit: Archant

Undercover police were lying in wait for an armed gang who attacked an off-licence and money transfer shop in Chadwell Heath.

Armed police were waiting for the gang

Armed police were waiting for the gang - Credit: Archant

Officers from specialist unit the Flying Squad arrested five men, one armed with a hand gun, after the attack on Milap Mini Market, High Road at 3.40pm yesterday.

Police believe the gang is linked to other robberies in east London.

The gang entered the convenience shop and threatened the 55-year-old shop owner before stealing cash and other items.

When they returned to their getaway vehicle officers swooped and arrested the men on suspicion of robbery and a firearms offence.

Police recovered a quantity of cash, property as well as a handgun.

Det Chf Insp Steve Ellen from the Flying Squad said. “We think this organised crime gang are linked to robberies in east London.

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“The gang spent time organising this attack and put in place a plan to make good their escape.”

The off-licence has a Western Union money transfer shop inside it.

Mr Ellen said: “The excellent work of the squad led to the recovery of a firearm, ammunition and the removal of a dangerous gang, who specifically came together for the purpose of causing fear and disruption.”

The shop owner’s son, Milap Shah, 29, of Seven Kings arrived on the scene shortly after the robbery happened.

According to Mr Shah, his father has been mugged twice and his shop targeted by burglars in the last 18 months.

He said: “It’s shocking. He’s just trying to make a living.”

Milap Mini Market is close to High Road’s junction with Whalebone Lane North.

The five men, aged 26, 27, 31, 31, and 41 years old, are in custody in unnamed east London police stations.

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