Armend Xhika was stabbed to death when violence broke out in the streets of Sheffield last Thursday evening.
The 22-year-old was caught up in fights involving a group of men, with one brawl reported on Earl Marshal Road, Fir Vale and another on Kirton Road, Pitsmoor shortly later.
Armend was dropped off outside A&E at the North General Hospital in a car which then drove away as medics fought to revive him.
A friend today revealed that Armend was in the UK illegally and moved to Sheffield, where his sister is also reportedly living, for a better life for him and his family in Albania.
Less than three years later, his life was tragically cut short by a knife attack.
The friend said young Albanians desperate to escape poverty in their home countries have paid up to £ 26,000 for illegal entry into the UK.
They either find themselves in debt to banks, friends and relatives in Albania or to criminal gangs who offer them a route to the UK, he said.
Armend’s friend said he used to work in a number of jobs to make ends meet.
He said: “Armend’s death has to make a difference and make people realize exactly what’s going on in Sheffield.
“In Albania, work is so scarce that people often have to pay thousands of pounds just to find a job and even then they work very long hours and only earn around £ 300 to put food on the table,” support families and pay for medical care. They live in extreme poverty.
“The younger generation don’t want that and come to the UK for the dream life, like Armend, so he can support his family and have a better life here.”
He warned that criminal gangs are exploiting young people like Armend in Sheffield knowing they don’t have official paperwork for legitimate jobs.
“If people are in debt and desperately need the money because they don’t have the paperwork for official support, they can be exploited,” the friend said.
“The authorities must look at the young Albanian generation and offer them support and advice before more lives are lost because of people finding themselves with the wrong kind of people.”
So far, five arrests have been made in connection with the police investigation into the murder.
He said he expects a crowdfunding appeal to be put out to help Armend’s family pay for his body to be repatriated to his home country for burial.
A man in his 30s who was arrested for murder has been released under investigation.
A second man in his 30s and a man in his 20s, who were also arrested for murder, were released without charge along with a man in his 20s arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and a woman in her twenties arrested on suspicion of helping a delinquent.
South Yorkshire Police said: ‘Mr. Xhika came to the UK in 2018. We have ongoing investigations to determine his status. ”
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This notice was published: 2021-05-19 05:21:32