Turangi dairy owner filmed in Mongrel Mob t-shirt, chanting gang slogans

Sanjay Malaviya barks like a dog and chants Mongrel Mob slogans.
Sanjay Malaviya barks like a dog and chants Mongrel Mob slogans. Photo credit: Jo Te Whaiti / Facebook

The owner of a Turangi convenience store filmed wearing a Mongrel Mob supporter t-shirt has denied being forced to wear it.

Video posted to Facebook by a patched Mongrel Mob member shows Sanjay Malaviya, owner of Sanjay's Selection, barking like a dog and chanting Mongrel Mob slogans. The t-shirt reads "supporter", "hearty" and "red nation".

"Hearty supporter SFH Sanjay #support your local chain dogs," the post's caption reads.

Speaking to Newshub on Wednesday, Mr Malaviya said he was approached by "five or six" people who told him to wear it for a minute. He said he didn't know they were taking the video, and has spoken to police over the incident, but denied being threatened.

"It's a small town, everyone knows who everyone is," he told Newshub.

Another video posted to Facebook shows Mr Malaviya barking and throwing up Mongrel Mob gang signs.

It's not Mr Malaviya's first run in with gang members. After his fourth conviction for selling cigarettes to children as young as 12, he claimed he did so because he "feared for his life".

Mr Malaviya told The Dominion Post he tried to stop selling to the youths after his first conviction, but they sent their father to threaten him.

"I do worry about our safety, especially when my children are coming home from school and these boys are there ... but I can't do anything," he told Stuff.

He's also suffered repeated break-ins and hold-ups to the point he was forced to armed himself and fortify his store.

Stuff reports he kept a wooden club and golf club under his counter after being held up machete and pistol-wielding offenders.

In one 2009 incident, Turangi man Ngarangi Rota held up his store using a pistol in an attempt to forcible take cigarettes.

"This was the first time we had been held up by someone with a gun," Mr Malaviya said at the time.

"I felt quite frightened, but I knew he couldn't do anything because he was drunk. If he was a real professional he wouldn't be asking for cigarettes but money."