Chinese man released, stray cat inquiry ongoing
A Chinese man suspected of abducting stray cats was released from arrest by the police but a magisterial inquiry is still under way.
The man was arrested on Friday after a white van he drives was reported to the police on suspicion that it was involved in the abduction of stray cats.
Animal carcasses were found in the van but police have so far been unable to identify whether they are cats or rabbits.
A police search on Saturday in the Ħal Far compound where the man lived with other Chinese workers unearthed nothing suspicious.
The man takes care of the kitchen at the place that houses some 200 Chinese workers.
Meanwhile, police sources said the Chinese restaurant in Marsascala where the man was arrested had nothing to do with the case. “He was only dining there and never worked with the restaurant, as was initially reported by the media when the case broke,” the sources said.
Chinese restaurants reported a drop in sales after the case came to light and owners, especially in Marsascala, have distanced themselves from the man. One restaurant owner yesterday told The Times the man had never worked for any of the restaurants in the area.
Meanwhile, animal lovers who were the first to raise the alarm on disappearing cat colonies seem convinced that the offenders are not Chinese.
In one incident a cat lover was spoken to in Maltese by a couple who were seen catching stray cats in Buġibba.