Monday, January 31, 2011

More ICE Fail

There has been a shooting in San Francisco at Pier 39, part of the Fisherman's Wharf tourist attraction. Like Chinatown that was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake with tourism in mind, Fisherman's Wharf has precious few fishermen, but lots of tourist traps selling junk to tourists, alot of it counterfeit merchandise.
A merchant shot and killed two employees of a rival souvenir shop at San Francisco's Fisherman Wharf because the victims were selling counterfeit purses identical to ones he was offering, police said today.
The victims, a man and a woman, were killed in the store where they worked at 269 Jefferson St. The male victim was identified as Qiong Han Chu, 30, and the woman was Feng Ping Ou, 30. Both lived in San Francisco, the medical examiner's office said.
The shooting happened at about 8:20 p.m. at a business that sells souvenirs and luggage, police said. The gunman shot both Chu and Ou in the chest, authorities said.
The suspect, 56-year-old Hong Ri Wu of San Francisco, was arrested at the scene and booked on suspicion of two counts of murder, investigators said.

A woman who answered the phone today at Wu's home said, "We don't know, sorry," before hanging up. Interim Police Chief Jeff Godown said the shooting was the result of a "business dispute." Other police sources said Wu and the victims all sold counterfeit purses and that the violence was an outgrowth of a longtime rivalry. One investigator said Wu resented the competition.

In a brief telephone interview today, Chu's father, speaking in his native Taishan dialect, said Wu had apparently traveled to mainland China in hopes of obtaining fake name-brand merchandise to sell. But he was unable to get enough goods and had fallen behind on his rent, said the father, who did not want his name used.

The father declined to speak further, saying he was too upset.

Ted Kim, the owner of Grace Land Shirts and Gifts, said of Wu, "I know him very well. He's a very kind man, actually. I'm really surprised." But over the past few days, Wu seemed out-of-sorts and tired, Kim said. "I'm sure they have a competition with each other," he said of the two businesses.

The store where the shootings happened sits between Joe's Crab Shack and Pearl Factory. There is no permanent sign out front. It has a green awning, a roll-up door and a sign that reads, "Original Discount Perfume." [This just screams counterfeit goods. ed.]

Wu's store is in an alley next to the victims' shop. It has no sign and is only six feet wide, and Wu set up a single glass table behind a sliding, accordion-style door, merchants said.

Competition among stores in the area can be fierce, so employees are pressured to make brisk sales, merchants say.

Sometimes the competition skirts the law. Last year, federal authorities raided eight Fisherman's Wharf shops, seizing more than 200,000 counterfeit retail items valued at $100 million. Eleven defendants have been charged with conspiracy.

"There is a slight competition," said Eric Manley, 32, who works at Wharf T-Shirts. "If someone has a hot item, they hang it out in front of the store. In three or four months, everyone will have that item."
Of course the obvious question is whether the perpetrator or the victims were illegal aliens. The Chron, in its best tradition, does not know, does not want to know and makes no effort to know. Inquiring minds might want to ask the reporters: Demian Bulwa at dbulwa@sfchronicle.com, Henry Lee at hlee@sfchronicle.com or Jaxon Van Derbeken at jvanderbeken@sfchronicle.com. I am guessing they did not bother to inquire, thought any inquiry was racist, or they wanted to protect the illegals and their families. Both Bulwa and Lee obviously have a problem identifying illegal aliens as such.
The back story though is the reference this story at the Chron only a few short months ago detailing illegal aliens from China and their very public arrest by ICE for dealing in counterfeit merchandise. And Will Kane did not have as many scrupples as his colleagues at the Chron in as least hinting that many of perpetrators were illegals.
Of course, ICE congratulated themselves with their previous arrests, but apparenlty it had no impact on the criminal community, as they continued their crimes openly. So openly, the suspect's father openly proclaims Hong Ri Wu's crime:
In a brief telephone interview today, Chu's father, speaking in his native Taishan dialect, said Wu had apparently traveled to mainland China in hopes of obtaining fake name-brand merchandise to sell. But he was unable to get enough goods and had fallen behind on his rent, said the father, who did not want his name used.
The obvious quesiton is how did Wu continue with this crime right under ICE's nose? What was his status? Was he one of the tens of thousands of Chinese businessmen give non-immigrant B-1 business visas that interestingly now are given six months admission where previously they were limited to six months. Was he living illegally here on a B-1 visa? Was he an illegal alien? If a legal permanent resident or naturalized citizen, why are we admitting or naturalizing people of low moral character? Why did ICE not arrest him long ago? Is ICE's attention span as limited as the FBI's? There are hundreds of ICE Special Agents in the San Francisco Special Agent in Charge Office most earning $135k a year. What are they doing to earn this princely sum for such easy work? Call and ask: (510) 267-3800. Why doesn't Wu's father speak any English?

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