Twenty-four hours after being taken into custody by the Police, Chinese national Tianzhao (Shanjow) Feng has been charged with arson.
Police charged the man with the indictable offence earlier today, June 8. He is due to make his first court appearance before a magistrate tomorrow, Wednesday, June 9.
Feng went missing for six days after a fire destroyed his workplace – the XPZ Supermarket on Sir Sydney Walling Highway – last Tuesday, June 1. A Police Bulletin was issued for him last Friday.
According to a report by State media, Feng, who goes by the moniker “Alex,” requested a Lower Gambles resident to call the Police since he was ready to turn himself in.
Feng reportedly said he had been living in the bushes for five straight days, and had even attempted to kill himself, but could not go through with it.
The resident’s report said the Chinese man had wandered to a village nearby and had slept beneath an abandoned house before deciding to turn himself over to the Police.
Feng is also reported to have told the Gambles man that he was having issues with his Chinese colleagues, but he did not explain what those issues were.
Speculation is that these conflicts might have led him to set the business alight.
Fire officials had immediately ruled the destructive fire to be suspicious. While the residence at the side of the premises – where Feng and others lived – had also been damaged, neighbouring buildings were untouched by the blaze.
Some persons had expressed the suspicion that Feng had committed the illegal act, since he was last seen at about 11 p.m. on May 31, some three hours before the inferno.
Reportedly, he exited the supermarket’s WhatApps chat early that morning and did not answer any calls to his cell phone.