The Office of Fair Trading is understood to be investigating the recent hostile takeover by the Tottenham Boys of a patch previously controlled by rival gang the Bombarcilar. When 5 known members of the Bombarcilar gang were found murdered in Camden on Friday night the Metropolitan police immediately launched an investigation, but later handed control to the OFT amid fears that the apparent takeover could lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the market for recreational drugs in the North London area.
With only 3 main players in the North London drug scene, the Tottenham Boys, Bombarcilar and the Yardies, any expansions, mergers or takeovers are closely scrutinised by the OFT. With the Tottenham Boys now claiming control of Camden the OFT investigation will centre on concerns that this takes them over the 40% threshold and could result in a monopoly situation being present for the supply of everyday essentials such as crack cocaine and heroin.
‘It is our duty to protect consumers and ensure that a merger does not give rise to a situation where one organisation controls such a large share of the market that they are in a position to abuse their power’ said Philip Collins, OFT chairman. ‘The move to seize control of the Bombarcilar assets in the borough of Camden is a clear sign of the Tottenham Boys’ intent to expand and we have to be certain that this expansion will not go against the interests of the average North London drug user. Any increase in the price of recreational drugs could be devastating for the local community’
Industry analysts believe that the takeover is likely to be referred to the Competition Commission unless divestments are made in the related human trafficking and prostitution businesses in order to allay fears that the gang could use its position in one market to fund expansion in the others.
An anonymous spokesman for the Tottenham Boys however remained confident that the move would be given the green light ‘There is more than enough competition in the local area to prevent this having an adverse effect on the market. Especially given Tesco’s recent decision to introduce their own brand of smack to their express stores.’.