UPDATED: Retailer found dead following alleged shoplifting incident

Retailer Bashir Ahmed has died in his store following an alleged shoplifting incident, according to other shop owners close to the deceased

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Police Scotland confirmed to Better Retailing that 69-year-old Bashir Ahmed was found dead at the Best-One on Main Street in Newtongrange in Midlothian when emergency service workers attended at around 7pm on Friday 18 August.

It is alleged by those close to the family that the victim had a suspected heart attack after responding to an attempted theft at the premises.

Police Scotland said the incident is being treated as ‘unexplained’ and that a probe is underway to uncover the circumstances around the death.

Fed member Abdul Qadar and friend of Ahmed said the storefront was surrounded by flowers and a police cordon by midday Saturday.

Ferhan Ashiq, the former Scotland Fed president and owner of the nearby Livenhall Village Store in Musselburgh, told BetterRetailing: “Store owners here feel like they are under attack and instead of a police presence, we get police appointments. We want to see Police Scotland giving this latest incident the attention it deserves.”

Police react to shoplifting rise

The incident follows a spate of attacks on retailers in the area, including at Dan Brown’s Pinkie Farm store in Musselburgh. Last week he wrote that “after being physically assaulted and told [he] would be stabbed”, Police Scotland told him to book an appointment because they were ‘unable to attend to see [him] this evening’ due to “ongoing priority calls”.

Brown responded: “Will I be booking my appointment from hospital next time, or worse?”

Ahmed was described as a well-known and liked former Fed member. Ashiq described the retailer as “a thoroughly nice person, friendly to everyone and a decent retailer”.

Current Scotland Fed president Hussan Lal stated: “He was very down to earth, a brilliant retailer and a friend to everyone who met them.”

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