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3 men arrested over ransom charges

THREE men who allegedly kidnapped a Mercedes owner in downtown Xujiahui and demanded 2 million yuan (US$300,300) in ransom have been nabbed, Minhang District prosecutors said today.
The trio told prosecutors that they set target on those who drove expensive cars like BMW and Mercedes because "they must be wealthy."

Pang Yiwang, Peng Yitie and Mao Xing were classmates in Hunan Province. They gathered on September 10 to discuss how to find a well-paid easy job. Pang, 20, used to be a serviceman in Shanghai and suggested kidnapping a rich man, saying there were many rich people in Shanghai, according to prosecutors.

They came to Shanghai on September 15 and decided to find a target in Xujiahui, an area full of wealthy people. They wandered around Xujiahui, armed with two knives and a rope, for the whole afternoon the next day and then saw a man in a white Mercedes parked on Tianyaoqiao Road at around 11pm. The man wearing a gold necklace was making a phone call.

The trio thought he was exactly the person they wanted and swooped down on him. The victim surnamed Yan owned two convenience stores and was calling his girlfriend at that time.

The suspects asked for 2 million yuan from Yan's parents and required them to send money to the Jinjiang Amusement Park the next day. Yan's father bargained that he could collect only 100,000 yuan at the time and this was accepted by three men, according to prosecutors.

Yan's father reported to police. When he carried 100,000 yuan in cash to the meeting place on September 17, police caught the three men.


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