Real ‘Top Boy’ gangs whose London violence make TV show characters look tame

Top Boy has finished, it's off and on run for the past 12 years has exposed the brutality of drug dealing gangs in London.

Though fiction, Channel 4 and latterly Netflix series has been lauded for the drama's gritty realism and yet for all the shootings and kidnapping, scenes pale in comparison to the capital's real-life gangsters.

None are more feared than the Mali Boys.

READ MORE: Ruthless real-life Top Boy gangsters who inspired Dushane and Sully's reign of terror

The gang earned its name because many of the founding members came to Britain as children from war-torn Somalia and even by the violent standards of London's fearsome gangland landscape, the Mali Boys are renowned for their uncompromising brutality.

Police said in 2018 they were earning up to £50,000 a week from drug sales.

One rival gang member told The Sun: “Those people come from countries where there are pirates, where people are gang-raped and beaten up, and it’s all in front of them.

"Some are ex-soldiers who have seen people’s heads blown off. So they feel they can come and do it here."

Among the Mali Boys' turf is Walthamstow's Vallentin Road – dubbed "Britain's most dangerous street" thanks to a string of violent attacks including fatal shootings and arson.

Researchers at London South Bank University uncovered how the Mali Boys use Facebook which they call Fedbook – to monitor police officers.

Kids as young as 10 are used to loiter around the local police station, a ten-minute walk from Vallentin Road, noting the number plates of officers’ private cars so they can be used to threaten them later.

The Mali’s 50 members, aged from 14 to 24, no longer wear bandanas or gang colours, or drive flash cars as it attracts too much attention. They also keep a low profile on social media.

The street gang were also behind the murder of 14-year-old Jayden Moodie.

On January 8, five members of the Mali Boys were touring the streets of Walthamstow in a stolen Mercedes car looking for rivals to attack.

Det Insp Dave Hillier said: "After deliberately ramming Jaden off his moped, his attackers did not think twice about carrying out a savage, frenzied attack on him – stabbing him nine times in seven seconds while he laid defenceless on the ground."

After coming across Jayden, who was riding his moped, they mowed him down and then 19-year-old Ayoub Majdouline got out of the car with at least one other gang member and began stabbing him as he lay on the ground.

On the other side of London, a notorious gang known as the Church Road Soldiers, have operated a Top Boy-like regime in Harlesden, north-west London.

Execution-style hits have included Craig “Smallz” Small being shot in the head at point-blank range outside a chicken shop in nearby Wembley.

A source previously told the Daily Star: “Smallz was shot in the head. His killer knew where he was and what he was doing. It was a gangland hit, pure and simple.

In another incident a man died after being shot by a "high powered weapon" from the window of a blacked-out hatchback in Church Road in 2016.

In 2012, after appearing in a clip with N-Dubz star Tulisa, Reece James, aka Stylez, was gunned down and killed a few weeks later in what police thought was a "pre-planned execution" in Bournemouth.

In yester year North London brothers considered even more brutal than the Krays were estimated to be worth £200million.

Going by many names, including the Clerkenwell crime syndicate, the Adams Family and the A-Team they have been connected with 25 gangland murders – with one victim rumoured to be buried in concrete under the O2.

Brothers Terry, Thomas and Patrick Adams made names for themselves in the underworld by reportedly kneecapping rivals if they acted out of turn. Their signature hit reportedly involved a gunman riding pillion on a motorbike.

At the height of their power in the 1980s and 1990s through their influence in murder, extortion, robbery and drug trafficking, one source said mentioning the Adams name "meant no one was going to f*** about with you".

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