Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Friday, May 24, 2024

Mainland students rescued in Hong Kong after family sent bloody ‘ransom’ video

Mainland students rescued in Hong Kong after family sent bloody ‘ransom’ video

Video of scream and bloodied arm sent to father of victim in effort to secure 14 million yuan from family.

Two mainland Chinese students studying in Australia were duped out of more than HK$12.7 million (US$1.6 million) by phone scammers and tricked into going to Hong Kong to stage a bogus kidnapping for a multimillion-dollar ransom.

Police on Friday revealed they had deployed more than 100 officers to search for the two young women, who were eventually found alone in a hotel room, with a knife, rope and syringes they had bought themselves. One of the women had been cut on her arm several times in a bid to make the abduction look more realistic, according to police. No arrests have yet been made.

The two women, who study at the same university in Sydney but do not know each other, were first contacted by the scammers in March. Posing as mainland police, the fraudsters ordered the pair to transfer funds as part of a bogus investigation.

The younger victim, 22, was later tricked into believing her father was caught up in criminal activities and that a staged kidnapping could help draw out members of a gang the fake mainland officers were supposedly hunting. The older woman, 23, was persuaded to escort the other victim to Hong Kong, where the ruse would take place.

The pair met in Sydney before flying to Hong Kong last Sunday, according to the force.

Crime squad officers pored over a large amount of security camera footage to track them down to a Tai Kok Tsui hotel room on Thursday afternoon, where they were rescued about three hours after one of the families filed a report to police.

On Wednesday, the father of the younger victim received a video via messaging platform WeChat showing his daughter bound and blindfolded with a demand for 14 million yuan (US$2 million) ransom.

An identity card seized as evidence by police.


“In the video, someone’s hand can be seen holding a knife and cutting her left arm multiple times, causing her to scream for help,” a source familiar with the case said.

The family immediately sought help from Australian authorities but were told the 22-year-old had left the country for Hong Kong. Her elder brother then travelled to the city from the mainland and went to Mong Kok police station to file a report at around noon on Thursday.

After a three-hour investigation involving the deployment of more than 100 officers, police tracked them down to the hotel.

The force went to the location at around 3pm. “Officers broke into the hotel room and rescued the two victims,” said Chief Inspector Chow Chun-choi of the Kowloon West regional crime unit. No ransom was paid.

He said the younger woman suffered cuts on one arm and the other was unhurt, adding that a knife and ropes were among other items seized at the scene.

In March, the fraudsters posing as mainland police contacted the two women and accused them were involved in money laundering. The duo were asked to transfer money into designated bank accounts on the mainland that month and in April for further investigation.

The younger woman, whose family runs a logistics company on the mainland, was told to lie to her father by claiming that the university needed to ensure her family could provide enough financial support for her to continue studying in Sydney. She then asked him to transfer money to her.

The scammers called the two women and posed as mainland Chinese police officers.


According to police, she lost A$2.3 million (US$1.5 million), while the other woman lost 600,000 yuan.

The bogus mainland police later contacted the younger woman again and said her father was involved in illegal activities and associating with the ringleader of a criminal gang.

“She was told that a kidnapping could help lure out those behind the criminal gang,” Chow said.

She was then tricked into coming to Hong Kong to stage the kidnapping. The fraudsters asked the other woman to work as a “spy” and escort her to the city.

Superintendent Alan Chung said he believed that the scammers wanted to stop the pair from seeking help from their friends and teachers in Australia.

According to police, the pair had not been locked inside the hotel room as they had gone out to buy food and items such as a knife, ropes and syringes used to stage the bogus kidnapping.

Condemning the scammers as “shameless”, Chung said a knife was used to cut the arm of the younger victim multiple times in an effort to make the video more realistic.

He said it was lucky the women were rescued before a solution was injected into the younger victim.

No arrests were made in Hong Kong. Officers said they believed people behind the scams were not based in the city.

Police said they would seek help from mainland and Australian authorities for a follow-up investigation.

The force urged the public to verify the identity of anyone who contacts them.

In Hong Kong, officers handled 2,831 reports of phone scams involving HK$1.08 billion last year. There were 1,140 cases in which phone scammers bilked HK$811 million in 2021.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×