Belfast Telegraph

Teens quizzed over Nelson Cheung murder: Boy (14) and girl (16) held after takeaway owner killed for £200

By Sara Neill

Two teenagers were being questioned by police last night over the brutal murder of a Chinese restaurant owner.

And it emerged yesterday that Nelson Cheung (65) was stabbed to death for just £200 in takings.

Mr Cheung was killed in front of his wife last Thursday when robbers forced their car off the Caddy Road near Randalstown. The couple were on their way home after closing up the Double Value takeaway in the Co Antrim town when they were ambushed.

It is understood the robbers cut Mr Cheung's throat while his 57-year-old wife Winnie was forced to watch from nearby. Despite suffering knife wounds herself, Mrs Cheung managed to escape the attackers. It is believed she managed to run to a farmhouse to raise the alarm. After attacking the Ballymena couple, who were well-known and well-liked in the Co Antrim town, the gang made off with the night's takings from the business.

It is thought the car used to ram Mr and Mrs Cheung off the road moments before they were assaulted was stolen in December.

It has been reported that thieves swiped the keys during a house party in Randalstown last month. That has prompted fears the attack was planned weeks in advance, and the robbers may have been watching the Cheungs night after night as they travelled the same roads home after closing up the restaurant.

Police say the murder was not a hate crime, but Patrick Yu, director of the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, said the brutality of the attack has caused serious concern.

"This has sparked fear in the Chinese community after the attacks that had been taking place previously," he said.

He added: "Back then many Chinese business owners were targeted as they returned from work for money.

"Sometimes their children were even tortured to force them to hand over their takings."

Mr Yu said the attacks had been carried out by a gang at locations across Northern Ireland, where thieves waited outside Chinese takeaways for their owners to leave and followed them home.

In a spate of arrests on Saturday, the 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl were among six detained by detectives.

A 43-year-old man held at the same time, and a 30-year-old man arrested on Friday, were both released unconditionally.

Then last night police arrested a 25-year-old man in connection with the murder.

Appeal

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Eamonn Corrigan appealed for information about a black Seat Toledo car, registration OE62 FRF, seen in the Randalstown area from around 9pm to midnight on January 7. It is believed to have been involved in the ambush of the Cheungs as they drove home from their restaurant.

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