Monday, 9 July 2012

What is Anxiang Du living off?

(Image: Sky News)
GIBRALTAR/SPAIN/MOROCCO (Agencies and GibChronicle) Further to our report last Thursday, a Chinese businessman wanted on suspicion of murdering a family of four is likely to have evaded capture in Morocco for more than a year, a detective has said on a lightning visit to that country. Anxiang Du, 53, is thought to have fled the UK shortly after the deaths of university lecturer Jifeng “Jeff” Ding, his wife Ge “Helen” Chui and their two daughters Alice, 12, and Xing, 18. The family were found stabbed to death at their home in Wootton, Northamptonshire, on April 29 last year - the same day as the royal wedding.>>>

According to Detective Chief Inspector Tom Davies, who is leading the investigation, it has emerged that Du boarded a bus at London’s Victoria station shortly after the family were found dead and travelled to Paris and through France and Spain. before catching a ferry from the port of Algeciras to Tangier in Morocco.

The journey is believed to have taken only a few days, with Du evading capture in Morocco ever since.

“He knew the route, he had a plan and he used that three or four day window after the murders to leave the country,” said Mr Davies, of Northamptonshire Police. “We have focused on that period and the transport links in and out of London. It was painstaking work but after looking through all the departures we know he left on a bus from London Victoria to Paris.

“From there he used buses or trains to get to Algeciras where he boarded a ferry to Tangier. Whether he is still in Tangier or not we don’t know but we are hoping this latest appeal will help us in that respect.”

Du has a background in herbal medicine and police are investigating the possibility he has used that to earn a living while on the run.

He is known to have been carrying several thousand pounds in cash when he left the UK but police think that money will now have run out and officers are keen to know how he is surviving financially.

Mr Davies said: “We are looking at a number of things. Is somebody looking after him financially? Has somebody given him some low-skilled work? Has he set up a herbal remedy business of his own? Has someone given him somewhere to stay? Or is he the sort of person who is living in isolation and nobody is noticing?

“What we do know is that he is a fugitive trying to use international borders to escape justice and we are not going to stand by and let that happen.

“We are due a bit of luck in this investigation but we are not going to sit back and wait for that luck, we’re going out there and we’re trying to force it. It is a sizeable challenge but it is one we are undertaking with some vigour.”

Police from Northamptonshire, who are due to return to the UK tomorrow afternoon, have issued posters and leaflets to officers out in Morocco and are hoping that someone will recognise Du in a country with no Chinese community of note. “What we are saying to the people of Morocco is ‘over to you’," said Davies. "We have put out his picture and we want to know if they recognise him."

“It is our biggest breakthrough so far and we hope this can lead to a positive outcome," Davies added in his appeal.

He also appealed to people using the ferries between Spain and Morocco in what is typically a busy time of the year to be on the lookout for Du.

An increased reward of up to £25,000 was announced by Northamptonshire Police during the one-year anniversary of the family’s deaths.

To date there have been more than 2,000 people visited and interviewed regarding sightings, information, intelligence, and questioning.

There have been more than 5,000 hours of CCTV seized from around the UK. There have been more than 380 suspect sightings, as well as nine arrests for various offences, some of whom were arrested in the belief that they were the suspect.

The Spanish phone number to report a sighting is 900 555 111, and the number in Britain is 0800 555 111.

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