21/09/2011

Fresh Bid To Find Killers Of Chinese Man

A murder that shocked the Chinese community over 15 years ago is back in the spotlight today.

A substantial reward is being offered by a leading Chinese community group as detectives from the PSNI's Serious Crime Branch re-open the investigation into the murder of Chinese businessman Simon Tang in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.

The victim, 28-year-old Mr Tang was beaten and robbed as he left his takeaway business on 24 June 1996.

He was taken to hospital but died the following day, leaving a wife and two sons.

The attack was carried out by two youths who stole the night's takings and Mr Tang's watch.

To date, no one has been charged with the murder.

Following a review of the case, detectives from Serious Crime Branch have identified new lines of enquiry and re-opened the investigation.

The officer in charge, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Crawford, said: "This was a brutal, senseless and vicious attack on a decent man going about his lawful business.

"It robbed Simon Tang of his life and it deprived his family of the love and support they deserved."

He also added that a reward is available: "I welcome the offer of a reward by the Tang family and the Chinese community in the hope that individuals with knowledge about the murder may provide information to police.

"Allegiances, loyalties and relationships can change over time. It is never too late to do the right thing."

The Chinese Welfare Association is aiming to raise £15,000 to offer as a reward leading to the capture of the killer.

So far £5,000 has been raised towards a reward for information leading towards an arrest and the Association wants to raise a further £10,000 over the next 15 days with the help of all communities in Northern Ireland in an attempt to bring the total reward money to £15,000 - £1,000 for every year that has passed since his death.

The senior police officer continued: "Detectives will be following a number of new lines of enquiry in the weeks ahead and we are appealing for assistance from the local community who we still believe can help us, despite the amount of time which has elapsed," he said, adding that the police would like to hear from anyone who can help.

He made several appeals asking for anyone who saw any activity around the Good Future takeaway on the Woodburn Road between midnight and 1am on 24 June 1996 to come forward.

He also asked for anyone who saw two youths running from the premises at about 12.30am to get in touch and specifically to ask the woman who rang the Mater Hospital in Belfast enquiring about "the condition of a Chinese man beat up in Carrick" after the attack to contact them.

"This was not a family member and police would appeal to this woman to contact them," said the PSNI statement.

DCI Crawford added: "I would ask anyone who can assist with these appeals to contact detectives at 028 90 700 727.

"Fifteen years have passed but the Tang family are still suffering. I believe there are people in the Carrickfergus area who know the identity of those involved and who have not yet come forward to police."

(BMcC/GK)

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