Sorin Serbu (pictured) had a 10-year-old son and was attacked and killed in east London
A Romanian father who was beaten to death in the street by a gang armed with baseball bats was allegedly a drugs and people trafficker in the middle of a brutal turf war.
The man, named locally as Sorin Serbu, 36, moved to the UK from Romania and had a 10-year-old son.
He was ambushed and attacked by a gang of eight hooded people, believed to have been Romanian, in Ilford, east London, in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Serbu, from Bralia, Romania, was later rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after.
Now sources in his home country have warned of further bloodshed.
According to reports, Serbu made his fortune in drugs and prostitution in Western Europe before moving onto Italy.
He then reportedly moved to the UK – where he is said to have angered Romanian gangs already operating here.
Serbu, from Bralia, Romania, was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after
A Romanian justice source told The Sun: ‘Serbu tried to muscle in and imported around 100 prostitutes.
‘The arrival of competition like that was always going to rock the boat.’
Metropolitan Police detectives are still appealing for witnesses and are hunting the attackers.
They described the incident at 2.48am on High Road as being a ‘brutal and prolonged attack’.
He was named on Romanian news website De Bralia which also said his attackers were all from his native country.
DCI Andrew Packer from the Homicide and Major Crime Command is leading the investigation and said the group were armed with items ‘such as baseball bats’.
He said: ‘This was a brutal and prolonged attack on an individual by a group of up to five people. Early indications are that this group have attacked the male, inflicting fatal blows with items such as baseball bats.
‘I would like to appeal to anyone in Ilford High Road, near the junction with Connaught Road, at the time of the attack to get in touch and speak with my team.
Officers cordoned off the road just yards from the local police station in Ilford, east London
Metropolitan Police have now launched a murder investigation after the incident in Ilford
‘This investigation is still at its early stages and it is vital we speak to witnesses and others who have information about what took place but are yet to come forward.
‘I would also like to appeal to anyone who may have captured footage from the scene to contact police. Your footage may hold vital evidence and you may well have captured the suspects at the scene or running away.
‘Please send any video via the https://ukpoliceimageappeal.com/upload/choose website. Your cooperation is vital.’
A Metropolitan Police spokesman added: ‘No arrests have been made at this time. Enquiries continue. A crime scene remains in place at the scene.
‘Anyone who witnessed this incident or has information should call the Homicide and Major Crime Command on 020 8345 3865, send a message via Twitter @MetCC or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.’