An­golans in ‘mafia’ at­tacks on Chi­nese

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

AN­GOLAN gangs are tar­get­ing Chi­nese work­ers in “mafia-style” at­tacks, spread­ing fear among the Chi­nese com­mu­nity in Luanda, a construction boss said yes­ter­day.

A string of gang rob­beries has tar­geted Chi­nese com­pa­nies and hous­ing com­pounds in re­cent months, said Ed­die Zhang, head of Shang­hai Ur­ban Construction Group, the com­pany build­ing Luanda’s new foot­ball sta­dium for the 2010 Africa Cup of Na­tions.

“Th­ese are not just nor­mal rob­beries… They are planned, like mafia-style at­tacks. The gangs go first to in­spect premises and then they go back with AK-47s.”

Zhang said he had warned his work­ers to take ex­tra care.

“We have a lot of se­cu­rity at the site and also I think that An­golans know how im­por­tant this project is for the coun­try.

“But else­where things are get­ting bad and peo­ple are talk­ing about want­ing to go back home.”

He added that the Chi­nese em­bassy had ad­vised na­tion­als against go­ing out alone at night.

More than 40 000 Chi­nese work in An­gola, around 90 per­cent on construction sites.

A spokesman for the Chi­nese em­bassy in Luanda said that they were aware of at­tacks on Chi­nese na­tion­als and were work­ing with An­golan au­thor­i­ties to re­solve the prob­lem.

Xu Ning, the head of the Chi­nese Busi­ness Coun­cil in Luanda, said Chi­nese liv­ing in An­gola were in­creas­ingly afraid.

“Things have be­come worse in the last few months. Just last night some­one I was due to have din­ner with did not turn up be­cause he had been robbed.

“And last week a man was shot dead in Viana. He had been work­ing here for a year and was due to leave, so had all his year’s salary in his ruck­sack when he was ap­proached by an armed gang,” Ning said.

Chi­nese com­pa­nies have sev­eral key post-war re­con­struc­tion con­tracts, in­clud­ing for new roads, air­ports, and gov­ern­ment build­ings, as well as four 2010 sta­di­ums. Chi­nese credit lines to An­gola are be­lieved to ex­ceed R37 bil­lion. – Sapa-AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.