Man pleads guilty to burning down XPZ Supermarket

Tianzhao Feng exiting the St John’s Magistrate’s Court in 2021
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By Latrishka Thomas

[email protected]

Chinese national Tianzhao “Alex” Feng has admitted to setting fire to popular department store, XPZ Supermarket, almost two years ago.

The store went up in flames in the early hours of June 1 2021, after which time the accused was unaccounted for.

Feng was not apprehended until several days later.

After he was arrested and charged with burning down the business located on Sir Sydney Walling Highway, Feng made his first appearance in the St John’s Magistrate’s Court later in June 2021.

His application for bail was denied after the prosecution argued that Feng, who was unrepresented, presented a flight risk. He was remanded to prison.

Feng has been behind bars since the requirements to consider his bail could not be met, he did not have his passport, and there was no one in Antigua and Barbuda who could stand surety for him.

Feng’s time in Antigua and Barbuda had also expired.

Yesterday, in the High Court, a woman carefully translated the indictment for the accused – who is in his 30s – and when he was asked to enter a plea, Feng responded clearly in English – “guilty”.

The accused is represented by attorney Wendel Robinson whose junior requested a social inquiry report be provided prior to sentencing.

Feng will be sentenced on March 21.

The XPZ store which opened in 2018 sold a wide variety of goods to include food, clothing, household items, and toys.

Its destruction also left almost 60 staff out of work.

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