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Police warn of virtual kidnapping scheme

For Immediate Release:02-Nov-2017 @ 11:19 AM
MRU #:17R133

The Edmonton Police Service is issuing a warning about a virtual kidnapping scheme impacting the Chinese community in other jurisdictions.

In July of this year, RCMP in lower mainland British Columbia became aware of a telecommunications fraud trend involving Chinese foreign nationals. Targeting primarily young, female students, the suspects pose as Chinese government officials or Chinese law enforcement and reportedly contact their victims via phone to advise them that they have been implicated in crimes in China.


The suspects then threaten harm to the victim’s family unless the victim goes into hiding, convincing them that contacting Canadian law enforcement will result in deportation. Once in hiding, the suspects allegedly contact the victim’s family, informing them that a family member is being held against their will and demanding money for their safe release.


“While no incidents have been reported in Edmonton to date, we are concerned that these alleged kidnappings  could be or are already occurring here,” says Sgt. Kevin Harrison with the EPS Crisis Negotiator Unit, “We want the Chinese community to know that they can contact police and that we are able to help.”


The EPS has connected with the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Calgary which reminds all Chinese nationals that anyone involved in a criminal investigation in China will not be contacted by phone and will not be asked to provide personal information. All legal documents related to a criminal investigation will be sent in a formal written notice through the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa or via a Consulate General in Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto.


Anyone who has been impacted by this type of crime is encouraged to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm.


View a Chinese version of this release.


Please contact Carolin Maran at (780) 421-3544 for more information.

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