Investigators suspect that Chinese businessman Liyan Jiang, who was found bound and gagged in his Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo home on Thursday night, was killed during a robbery.
The lifeless body of Jiang, 44, of Lot 343 Block 8 Tuschen, New Housing Scheme, was discovered around 10 pm on Thursday in the bathroom area of the lower flat of the house, where he operated the Parade Chinese restaurant.
‘D’ Division Commander Leslie James, in an invited comment yesterday afternoon, told Stabroek News that the case is being treated as a robbery and murder. “We have not been able to determine if anything was missing from the house but the house was ransacked and therefore it is a robbery-murder,” James said.
No arrest was made in the case up to last evening.
Jiang was found with his mouth tied with a piece of cloth and his hands tied behind his back with a piece of electrical wire. His body also bore several marks of violence.
It is suspected that the perpetrator/s gained entry into the house by removing several louvre panes from the bathroom window.
Jiang has been occupying the bottom flat of the house for the past two months. While the landlord lives in the upper flat, he is currently overseas.
Stabroek News was told that Jiang’s wife, who also operates a Chinese restaurant on the East Bank of Demerara, last spoke with him late on Thursday afternoon. However, later the same evening, she tried calling him back several times but the calls went to voicemail.
As a result, she contacted their family friend, journalist Neil Marks, who resides in the community, and asked him to check on Jiang.
Marks told this newspaper that after receiving the call he immediately went to the house. Upon arrival, he said, he discovered that the door to the restaurant was opened. He said he subsequently called out for the businessman several times but got no responses. As a result, Marks said he went to the Tuschen police outpost and reported the matter. He was accompanied back to the scene by a lone police officer, who, suspecting there was a robbery, called the Leonora Police Station and requested a patrol.
After the patrol arrived, ranks found Jiang’s motionless body in the house.
At the scene yesterday, investigators were conducting investigations.
Neighbours did not recall any strange sounds coming from the house before the discovery of Jiang’s body.
Jiang is survived by two young sons and his wife. His body is presently at the Ezekiel Funeral home awaiting a post-mortem examination.
Meanwhile, in a Facebook post on the incident, Marks accused the police officers of stealing several items from the restaurant during their probe. “I stepped out of the house to the restaurant area as I tried to communicate the message to Jiang’s wife. When I returned inside, the policemen were busy trying to sort themselves out in the freezer. I ignored it,” he said in the post. He added, “I went outside of the building to be on the phone with our Chinese friends who were calling and to allow the police to do their work. When I returned inside an officer was busy putting something under their shirt. When it was clear I could see, the officer returned the item. I don’t know who else picked up what.” At this point, he said he asked a friend to remain in the restaurant and keep watch.