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Victim of shooting is landlord trying to evict illegal casino

By Mohammad Bashir PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 5, 2010) - One of the two Chinese men arrested in connection with an attempt on the life of a businessman is employed by a company with a tainted ownership link.

Chinese murder suspect Xue Zhufu holds a work permit with Soho Entertainment Ltd while the other charged man, the bearded Gao Changjiang, does not have one.

Both men were charged with attempted murder of Port Moresby businessman Jason Tan. They appeared briefly in court yesterday.

Xue is reported to be employed by Soho Entertainments which, according to IPA company records, is owned by Erqin Zheng, a Chinese national who was deported in 2004 along with three others by the then Foreign Affairs Minister Sir Rabbi Namaliu.

A&C Club at Boroko which is owned by Soho Entertainment is the place where Mr. Zhufu is allegedly employed.

The landlord company, owned by attempted murder victim Jason Tan, has issued eviction notices but the lessees have refused to leave. Mr. Justin Tan, son of Jason, confirmed this yesterday when contacted.

Alleged Malaysian crime syndicate leader Michael Kim was also charged with similar crimes by the Trans National Crime Unit in 2004 and deported in 2005 by Sir Rabbie after the Boroko District Court convicted him.

According to the NIO then, since 2003 the illegal casino/brothel was leased by a company named Songbird KTV Ltd and owned by three deportees, Steven Ng, Zhubiao Chen and Michael Kim but Ms. Zheng was alleged to be the number one boss.

The club has since been ordered by the NIO to cancel the lease agreements as the two properties were suspected joints for the conduct of illegal casino/brothel activities.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki had said soon after the arrests that police were keeping surveillance over the activities of Ms. Zheng but the outcome of that probe is not known.

IRC had also begun a probe but nothing has apparently been done as well.

Two highly placed government officers have warned since that the country was sitting on a time bomb.

"We are being virtually invaded. These people will be the next biggest group in PNG," one of the sources had said.

In April, 19 Asians of Chinese origin were arrested and charged when an illegal gaming and prostitution operation was busted at the Fu Gui compound, Gordons.

According to a report by former IRC senior auditors and investigators Brian Lilywhite and Noel Smith, there were four companies owned by Erqin Zheng and her husband Zhubiao Chen.

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