TWO Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes suspected of openly selling drugs to hundreds of people a day have been shut down by police – following a gun feud on the streets of Islington.
The cafes – Anadolum and Gunner’s Play in Hornsey Road, Holloway – appeared to be Turkish social clubs.
But police claim they were each selling £10 bags of skunk to 150 customers a day – with Anadolum even offering punters a two-for-one deal.
Police decided to step in after months of violence and shootings between Kurdish-Turkish gangs battling for control of the north London drugs market.
The most recent incidents were over the weekend. On Friday night, petrol was poured through the letterbox of a shop in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, before it was set alight. In the early hours of Sunday morning, the same shop was fired at with a shotgun. And on Sunday night, Anadolum was shot at. On Tuesday afternoon, a 75-strong police squad raided Anadolum and Gunner’s Play – which had long been under surveillance by police.
Both social clubs had normal-looking pool saloons in the front – but police found the back sections were sealed off by reinforced steel doors.
At Anadolum, where 21 bags of suspected skunk were discovered, the metal door had a letterbox through which people would post cash and get their drugs in return, police believe.
At Gunner’s Play, where suspected skunk was also found, the metal door was flanked by metal walls – all of which was hidden behind a set of green-painted boards.
Police have shut down the two social clubs for 48 hours but will today (Thursday) go before Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in a bid to get them sealed for at least three months.
Six men have been arrested on suspicion of drugs offences.
Detective Chief Inspector Adrian Usher, of Islington police, said: “This is a really positive thing for the community. I think this will disrupt the cycle of shootings.
“There have been a number of violent incidents, including shootings, over the last six months. It’s certainly one line of enquiry that this is tit-for-tat violence between Kurdish-Turkish gangs.
“The Kurdish-Turkish community in north London wants a robust police response.”
In March, Turkish shopkeeper Ahmet Paytak, 50, was killed and son Huseyin, 21, was injured when shots were fired into Euro Food and Wine, also in Hornsey Road.
Many neighbours welcomed this week’s raids – but others were surprised. A worker at Mr Cee’s café, next door to Gunner’s Play, said: “I thought it was a pool club. I even asked if I could join.