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October 26, 2009

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Husband accused of kidnap plan

A HUSBAND allegedly hired five men to kidnap him and his wife in a bid to gain money from his spouse, who managed the family's purse strings, to pay back his mistress, Qingpu District prosecutors said yesterday.

Police are seeking Gao Mingjun, who is in hiding, while three of his alleged accomplices have been arrested on a charge of illegal detention.

On June 21, Gao's wife Zhang Qin was watching TV at home when five men arrived with her husband, prosecutors said.

One showed Zhang an IOU for 100,000 yuan (US$14,641) signed by Gao, but she said she didn't have any cash.

The five men then drove the couple off in a minibus. At a bridge, three men allegedly stopped the bus and pretended to beat Gao, while the other two threatened to throw his wife off the bridge while demanding money, prosecutors said.

Zhang gave in and promised to collect the cash next day, but her husband allegedly persuaded her that they should pay the men immediately otherwise they would be beaten to death. Zhang then handed over a bank card to pay a deposit of 15,000 yuan, according to prosecutors.

The couple were detained in a hotel that night. The next morning Zhang was forced to call a business partner surnamed Chen to ask for money, who promised 25,000 yuan, prosecutors said.

When the five met Chen at a wet market, police rushed out to rescue Zhang and caught three of the five. The other two escaped with Gao.

The three suspects told police the husband had plotted the kidnapping scam and they were just hired to help.

Gao allegedly told them his mistress had lent him 100,000 yuan last year to open a factory, but it was operating at a loss and he couldn't repay the debt because his wife controlled all the family money.

So he asked the five men to help him gain money from his wife, a suspect surnamed Zhao allegedly told police. He told them they had wanted to stop after Zhang had paid the 15,000 yuan, prosecutors said.


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