Newbury Park newsagent repeatedly robbed by gang after refusing to allow drug deals

The owner of Sri Balaji Bala-Kumaran Tambi-Aiyah whose shop has been robbed on numerous occasions

The owner of Sri Balaji Bala-Kumaran Tambi-Aiyah whose shop has been robbed on numerous occasions - Credit: Archant

A newsagent in Newbury Park who was robbed on Boxing day and New Year’s Day, said he has been targeted since he refused to let a gang deal drugs from the back of his shop.

Bala Tambi-Aiyah, owner of Sri Balaji, Leyswood Drive said he was approached by the “leader of the gang” two years ago and since he turned him down he has been robbed, threatened and had his car smashed and stolen.

“The other end of my shop is like a private area,” he

told the Recorder.

“He said he wanted to deal drugs from my shop and sell them to school children and that I could get a cut of the money.

“I could never do this.”

Mr Tambi-Aiyah said he is worried about his staff and has told them if members of the “gang” threaten them to let them take the goods.

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“It is not worth losing a life over, I would rather lose a couple of hundred,” he added.

The owner said he is not “being supported by the police” and has spent more than £10,000 in installing shutters and CCTV systems.

He claims the leader of the gang will case the shop out to see who is working, before sending in lower members of the gang to do the deed.

“He is a very intimidating man, and this whole situation makes me feel really sad.

“The only reason we are still open is because it’s my community and I want to be there for our customers and elderly residents who rely on us.”

A police spokeswoman said they received reports of incidents taking place on Boxing day and New Year’s day and the Safer Neighbourhood Team have visited the premises to offer advice and collect CCTV footage.

“We have no record of anyone reporting a gang wanting to deal drugs from the premises, however,” she said.

“We always urge and encourage members of the public to step forward and give us information and report all incidents as it helps us create a bigger picture and helps with our investigations – if we don’t know about it we can’t do anything about it.”