THE Chinese Embassy says it is worried by the Lesotho Mounted Police Service’s lack of resources that has compromised the security of their citizens.
This was said by Lu Hanbin, the embassy’s Director of Consular Affairs in an interview with the Lesotho Times this week. His comments follow the recent murder of a Chinese businessman Cho Yang Lin in the Mafeteng district.
The late Mr Lin (34) who ran a grocery business with his wife in Mafeteng was killed on 15 July 2018 by his driver and some accomplices who are still at large.
Mr Hanbin said although they have a working relationship with the police where they meet to discuss on how the Chinese community can be protected, lack of resources has hampered the police’s work.
He said the police lack resources such as vehicles which have made it difficult deliver their duty.
“The police lack resources and the criminals are aware of such challenges hence it becomes so easy for them to go and attack because they know the situation (that it takes the police long to respond),” Mr Lu said.
Mr Hanbin said besides the death of Mr Lin the police are currently burdened with the high crime rate. He added that the crime rate was also too high because of easy access to guns by the criminals.
He however said that despite the police’s challenges, they still work closely and meet annually to discuss what mechanisms they can implement to enhance security of the Chinese business community.
“In those meetings we advise the business community to always close their shops on time and ensure that they do not keep large sums of cash which often attracts criminals. They need to ensure that they deposit the money in the banks,” Mr Hanbin.
Mr Hanbin said the Chinese business community is also planning to raise money which they can use to enhance their security through awareness campaigns.
He also said that it was important for foreign business people to be protected. Mr Lin is the second foreign businessman to be killed in a robbery this year following the death of Indian businessman Ahmed Modan earlier this year.
Mr Modan was killed at his shop in the Mafeteng district in January this year.
However, Lesotho has lately been dogged by numerous robberies and killings.
Mr Hanbin also said the late Mr Lin’s parents flew into the country from China for his burial on Tuesday. He said the burial arrangements are yet to be finalised.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli recently told the Lesotho Times’ sister paper the Sunday Express that the robbers planned their attack based on information provided by the late Mr Lin’s driver who is now in police custody.
“Mr Lin’s wife, Li Wu reported the matter at Mafeteng Police Station and an investigation was launched leading to one of the suspects being apprehended and questioned,” Supt Mopeli said.
He said the robbers waited for Ms Wu to leave the house as per their normal routine whenever he was scheduled shop for wares for their shop in Motsekuoa in the Mafeteng district.
After Ms Wu’s departure between 8am and 9am, the three men, two of whom are still on the run, entered the house and killed Mr Lin. They reportedly took around M30 000 cash and left with his body and buried it in a field in Ha-Ramokoatsi about 7km outside Mafeteng.
Supt Mopeli said Ms Wu went back home after realising that her husband was unusually late. On arrival at home, she failed to locate him while his phone was not being answered.
She immediately made a report to the police and a search ensued. The police reportedly quizzed the guard at the residential complex who said he had not seen Mr Lin but had only seen the couple’s driver entering the complex.
The driver was subsequently arrested in the evening of the same day and he led the police to the shallow grave where they had buried Mr Lin’s body.