Newsagent ordered to repay £24,000 stolen from Brixton Oyster card users

Girish Patel scammed Oyster card customers at his newsagents, Krishen News, in New Park Road, Brixton. Pic: Google Streetview
Girish Patel scammed Oyster card customers at his newsagents, Krishen News, in New Park Road, Brixton. Pic: Google Streetview

A Brixton newsagent who stole thousands of pounds from his customers as they topped up their Oyster cards has been ordered to repay £24,000 to Transport for London (TfL).

Girish Patel, 63, from Krishen News, New Park Road, Brixton, carried out the scam over two years by voiding top-ups put onto the cards for customers and keeping the cash for himself.

Patel also charged customers more than he credited their card, pocketing the difference himself.

One victim of the scam said she once asked Patel’s wife, who works in the shop, to put £10 on her Oyster “but when I got to Streatham Hill train station I was told there was nothing on it. I went back and told her later that day, but she said ‘nothing to do with me. Contact TfL. Get out of my shop.” She said that the pair were extremely rude to their customers.

Another regular user of the shop said they believed they had been a victim of the scam, and added that Girish and his wife had “a bad form of customer service.”

When asked by Brixton Bugle if he would like to apologise to his customers he said he “didn’t need to” as they “knew him” and declined to comment any further. His wife told us that they were “taking out a loan to pay the money back.”

Appearing at Central Criminal Court on January 16, he was ordered to pay TfL £23,978 by July 17 or face more time in prison. He was previously jailed for 14 months for fraud in November 2013.

Acting Detective Superintendent John Oldham said: “This was a despicable and contemptuous crime in which Patel defrauded his customers for over two years, stealing their money by topping-up their Oyster cards with less than what they had paid for them.

“As a result of his crime he has not only served a lengthy prison sentence, but is also being made to pay back the money he stole.”

Only one victim could be traced by police, because most of the cards scammed belong to unregistered Oysters.

Patel denied owning any assets in the UK or abroad but a police investigation found that he owned a freehold property and had thousands of pounds in different bank accounts.

Steve Burton from TfL said that Girish Patel “abused the trust of his customers”, adding that he will never have his contract to sell Oyster credit reinstated by TfL.

Could you have been a victim of Girish Patel’s scam? Email us on



  1. disgusting live near the shop horrible couple deserve to goto pison

    btw i noticed their prices go up dont buy anything from them
    its from ure own good

  2. It’s a real shame that tube ticket offices are going and more people will be forced to use oyster ticket shops like this one.

  3. Also I’ve noticed that even tho a receipt is issued bus drivers still refuse travel…. He has owed money to every body he also an alcoholic constantly smells of alcohol and is often drunk while. Serving. I boycotted. That shop a while ago due to attitude aswell as oyster card £5.00 minimum and often not working..

  4. Get a receipt from the shop or use a machine – fwiw, I’ve never topped up and not been given a receipt as they handed the Oyster Card back.

    • Hi Andy I was saying to Maggie even when you do have the receipt bus drivers still won’t except it… Which makes you think the card is faulty so you walk a mile to the nearest tube station. To be told it’s empty so then you stand there not knowing who’s bloody fault it is lol….

  5. Horrible – yes, and obviously quite easily happening all over London.
    The thing I’m not entirely clear on is why would TFL get to keep the money that has been taken out of customers who presumably have had to top up again anyway to get access to transport?!

    • Hi I would assume that tfl will be getting double money….. And after this time I’ve not even kept the receipts as proof

  6. I am disgusted!! I lived on New Park Road for several months before moving in Nov 2014… This shop was right next to me and I used it many times to top up my oyster, HOWEVER, TFL and the police need to investigate the other shop further up (on the same street) because the same thing happened to me there on several occasions!! I even made a facebook post about it once when it occurred! Bastards!

    This is the tip of the Ice berg im telling you!


  7. As a bus driver I notice many occasions when passengers’ Oyster card have been low on funds and they SWEAR that they’ve topped up ( disregard the fare dodgers in this instance) and it makes me think this scam might be tip of the iceberg. I rarely buy Oyster cards or top up as I get free travel, but when I do the information available ( in the newsagent ) for the ticketing prices is scant to say the least. I recommend people check the balance on their Oyster card after they have topped up to make sure they’re not being scammed. This newsagent is close to where I live and it is disgraceful – and I feel for all the people ripped off- fares are too expensive as it is.

    • Hi Maggie can I ask why bus drivers can’t except recipes wid oyster card. I would have thought that would be proof that there is a fault and should not be the customer that has to pay for it.. ! Thanks lee.

      • Hi Lee, the receipt is proof of purchase but not proof of use. Because some Oyster card payments are for pay as you go and the balance is deducted with each trip It might be that the card has been used up. A traveller is allowed one free trip if there is no money on the card- the ticket machine issues a ticket for the fare paid which is deducted when you top up. Hope this answers your question.

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