HC Deb 05 December 1996 vol 286 cc763-4W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps his Department is taking to deal with (1) the murders in 1996 of(a) Simon Tang in Carrickfergus and (b) Albert Leung in Antrim and (2) other violent attacks on Chinese business men and their families; and if he will make a statement. [6896]

Sir John Wheeler

1. Since the murder of Mr. Tang at his business premises on 24 June, there has been a protracted investigation. HOLMES investigation facilities have been used in managing the investigation.

A number of specific appeals have been made for information, through the press and news media. On 5 November, a poster campaign was launched, appealing for information and offering a reward of £2,000—money raised by the Chinese Welfare Association. This information will shortly also be available on the RUC Internet site.

The inquiry continues, overseen by a detective superintendent.

Mr. Leung was not murdered; he died in hospital on 12 November. He had been the subject of a robbery at his home on 13 May, but received only minor injuries which did not contribute to his death. This case is being investigated as in 2 below.

2. All reported attacks on Chinese business men and their families have received full and proper investigations by the RUC.

On the directions of the then deputy chief constable (operations) a team of CID officers, under the command of the serious crime squad, was formed to conduct investigations into offences of robbery and aggravated burglary at the homes of Chinese business people.

On 13 May, an incident room was set up in Antrim RUC station, resourced by a HOLMES team and an investigation team. The team currently consists of one D/chief inspector, one D/sergeant and seven D/constables.

Inquiries into the attacks are continuing. They appear to be perpetrated by professional criminals.

On 28 May, a Chinese crime conference was held in Belfast, attended by Mr. Flanagan with representatives from community affairs, crime prevention and the serious crime squad. The police officers in attendance give advice on crime prevention measures and answered questions on all aspects of the police investigations into the attacks on the homes of the Chinese community.