Top Cop says Chinese attackers motivated by money
The Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil, says the men who attacked a Chinese-run business at Vaitele last weekend, resulting in one death, were motivated by money.
He downplayed claims that the attack was due to race and as a result of "hate crime."
"The motivating factor is money, that’s it," Fuiava said. "They’re not going there because you’re Chinese or Samoan or whatever. They’re there for the money and whoever is going to stand in the way is going to get in trouble.
"If there is money lying around, somebody is going to try and get your money so to me it doesn’t matter if it’s Chinese, Japanese, Samoan, white, it doesn’t matter."
Since the Police are still investigating, the Commissioner said they do not have evidence that money was stolen on the night of the attack.
But he confirmed there was "a lot of money at the location." He would not say how much money there was.
Consequently, Fuiavailiili encouraged business owners to bank cash that they hold on the premises, in order to minimise the risks of attacks and robberies.
"My encouragement to the business community, because we’re starting to see a trend here, it involves money. You bank your money if you’re a business – that will lessen the chances of you getting robbed or attacked for the money."
Fuiavailiili condemned the attack.
He also assured the Police will go after the perpetrators and bring justice to the late Cao Yaqing and his family.
"The Chinese community are our people, they’re here, they’re invested in Samoa," he said. "They have businesses in Samoa, they’re eating our food, so they are part of our community now.
"So for somebody to do something like that to that community or the community at large is very very wrong."
"We don’t support it as a nation, we certainly cannot support it in the Police and I tell you it doesn’t matter what nationality you’re doing it to, we’ll sort you out and we will lock you up."
Attacks on Chinese-run businesses in Samoa have increased in recent years with criminals breaking into a shop at Vailoa in February this year to rob it off $60,000 cash.