Police locate one of three missing students targeted in ransom scam
Chris Fox, CTV Toronto
Published Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:46AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:05PM EST
Police have found one of three missing Chinese students who may have fallen victim to a ransom scam targeting their families overseas.
On Saturday, police identified a third Chinese student studying in Toronto who they said may have disappeared as a result of the scam.
Police said that they believe a suspect or suspects contacted the students and told them to go into hiding and stay off their phones and social media, threatening that their families back in China would be in danger if they did not comply.
Police allege that the suspect or suspects then told family members of both students that they had been kidnapped and demanded a hefty ransom to secure their release.
Const. Craig Brister said they have no reason to believe any actual abductions have taken place..
Yue ‘Kandy’ Liu, 17, was last seen in the Yonge Street and Finch Avenue area on Friday at around 10:30 a.m. and police say they are concerned for her safety.
She is described as five-foot-six with a thin build, long black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a knee-length brown jacket with a white scarf, blue track pants and black and white shoes.
At about 4:45 p.m. Saturday, police said they located 20-year-old Juanwen Zhang.
Police said they urged several of her friends to continue texting her. Zhang turned on her phone Saturday and saw messages from her friends and immediately got in touch with police.
Investigators are working with her to try and identify the perpetrators of the scam.
The other missing student, Ke “Jaden” Xu, 16, remains outstanding.
Brister said the three students may have been targeted due to their recent arrival in the country.
“The students are somewhat isolated – they don’t have a lot of friends or family here in Canada.”
RCMP officers in B.C. and Alberta say they have seen this type of scam perpetrated in the west before.
Anyone with any information about these instances is asked to call police at 416-808-2222 immediately.