Toronto police locate 1 of 3 students missing in suspected ransom scam
Published Saturday, November 11, 2017 10:03AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, November 11, 2017 8:33PM EST
Toronto police say they have located one of three missing Chinese students who are believed to have fallen victim to a scam meant to extort money from their families in China.
Allyson Douglas-Cook, a media officer with the Toronto Police Service, said Saturday evening that Juanwen Zhang, 20, had made contact with police and is “safe and sound.”
Douglas-Cook told CTV News Channel that Zhang was made aware that she was a victim of a scam thanks to social media and text messages from family and friends.
Zhang is now being interviewed so that police can “figure out who is responsible for this so they can be held responsible,” according to Douglas-Cook.
“We’re using all the resources we can to figure out who exactly these people are and why they’re doing this horrible thing to these students,” Douglas-Cook added.
Police are also looking for Yue "Kandy" Liu, 17, who was last seen in north Toronto, near Yonge St. and Finch St., on Friday. They are also looking for Ke "Jaden" Xu, 16.
Douglas-Cook says Liu and Xu need to understand that there is no reason for them to be in hiding and they should contact police immediately.
Police have said they believe the disappearances are linked to a scam in which students are told to go into hiding and stay off social media to avoid having their relatives overseas hurt.
Their families are then told that their loved one has been kidnapped and that they must pay a large ransom to get them back, according to police.