SOMALI drug gangs have returned to terrorise residents in a Southend tower block – two years after the Echo first exposed them.

The ruthless dealers, from London, drove a vulnerable man out of his home in the Pennine flats, Coleman Street.

The terrified tenant, who has learning difficulties, fled. Police moved him to a safe location.

Officers also sealed up his flat in a bid to drive the dealers on to the streets and into the path of CCTV cameras.

Sgt Rob Enderby said: “This vulnerable man was being bullied by this lot. He didn’t feel strong enough to get them out. He left voluntarily and we have rehoused him.”

Yesterday, the Echo told how a crack house closure order was needed to seal up another property in the notorious block of flats on Friday.

It is believed the Somalian dealers moved from there straight to the vulnerable man’s flat, to continue their trade.

Two years ago, the Echo revealed a Somalian gang had been preying on vulnerable people in Southend.

Their method is to force their way into flats, then use them as bases to sell crack cocaine.

Police are using crack house closures orders in a bid to snare the dealers.

Sgt Enderby said: “These help us force them out on to the streets, where more people can get evidence of dealing and we can use that against them. In the end, they will run out of places to go.”

He stressed anyone who finds their house has been taken over by this gang can turn to police for help.

A resident at Pennine, who would not be named for fear of reprisals, said things had been much better since the closures.

She said: “I do feel safer now, I don’t have to lock my front door as soon as I get in anymore.

“No one’s bothered me and I’ve stopped having knocks on my door at 2am or 3am.”

The man was rehoused with the help of South Essex Homes.