Dispute gets ugly

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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ATTACK SCARS: Mr. Fang shows off the scars from the attack on Thursday night.

ATTACK SCARS: Mr. Fang shows off the scars from the attack on Thursday night.

A feud between two Asian owned shops has turned ugly and is heading to Court.

The dispute involves two of the fastest growing Chinese retail businesses in Samoa, Princessa Shop and Country Shop. 

The row apparently started over the usual competition for customers but the matter took a turn for the worst on Thursday when the Owner of the Country Shop, Wilson Fang, was allegedly attacked along with his parents at Vaitele.  

While it was not possible to obtain an official comment from the Police, the Sunday Samoan understands they were called and are investigating the matter.

Yesterday, Sylvia Fang, who owns the Country Shop with her husband, described the ordeal during an interview with the Sunday Samoan.

“On Thursday, a number of men including the owner of Princessa shop were armed and they came over to look for my husband,” she said. 

“We caught it on our security camera but my husband wasn’t there, he was at our land at Vaitele.” Mrs. Fang alleged that the men drove around looking for her husband. 

When they contacted him by phone, Mr. Fang told them that he was at Vaitele with his parents.

 “They went over and they beat my husband,” she said. “They beat him along with my mother-in-law and father-in-law.” 

Asked for a comment, the owner of Princessa, Chen Chan, declined to discuss the matter. 

 “Nothing happened,” he said. “This is between the Chinese, not Samoans. No Samoans were involved or hurt.”

According to Mrs. Fang, however, the incident was scary.

 “The neighbours saw everything; they came out because they were concerned by the noise and level of the beating. They saw what happened. They are witnesses.” All three victims suffered bruises and scratches around thier body and faces.

According to Mrs. Fang, the feud began when they took over Country Shop two months ago.

 “He was a customer of our Wholesale business and he had threatened to stop buying from us if we took over the Country Shop,” she said.

According to her, the matter deepened when the buses that would usually stop at Princessa started stopping at their shop.

“We started to get the calls,” she said. “They accused us of stealing their customers on the buses and then they threatened to beat up my husband.  “We simply told him to go and take it up with the bus drivers because it’s up to them where they want to stop.”

Mrs. Fang said she is scared thinking about what happened. “This really makes our small Chinese community look bad,” she said.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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