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November 6, 2010

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Gang held for kidnapping businessman

THREE men who allegedly kidnapped a Mercedes car owner in the Xujiahui area and demanded a ransom of 2 million yuan (US$300,300) have been arrested, Minhang District prosecutors announced yesterday.

The men told prosecutors that they targeted people who drove expensive cars like BMWs and Mercedes because "such people must be wealthy."

The three suspects, Pang Yiwang, Peng Yitie and Mao Xing, used to be classmates in Hunan Province. They gathered together on September 10 to discuss how to find a well-paid and easy job.

Since it was almost impossible for them to find such a job, Pang, 20, who used to serve in the army in Shanghai, suggested kidnapping a rich man. He said he was familiar with Shanghai and it was easy to kidnap one person among so many rich people, prosecutors reported.

They traveled to Shanghai on September 15 and decided to stage the kidnapping in the Xujiahui area, because they thought it was full of wealthy people, prosecutors said.

They wandered around Xujiahui all afternoon the next day, but didn't find an ideal target - the gang decided to persevere, however.

About 11pm, when few people were on the street, the suspects saw a man in a white Mercedes parking on Tianyaoqiao Road and rushed over to kidnap him.

The victim, surnamed Yan, runs two convenience stores. He was off work and calling his girlfriend at the time.

The suspects asked for 2 million yuan from Yan's parents and told them to send money to the Jinjiang Amusement Park the next day. Yan's father said he could only gather together 100,000 yuan, which was accepted by the men, said prosecutors.

Yan's father reported the situation to the police and when he went to deliver the 100,000 yuan to the appointed place on September 17, the police accompanied him and caught the three men.


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