Ransom demanded in alleged kidnapping of Chinese student, police say
Jackie Dunham and Ben Cousins, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Tuesday, April 2, 2019 8:47AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 2, 2019 7:55PM EDT
Court documents have revealed one of the suspects in the alleged kidnapping of a Chinese national in the Toronto area last month intended to demand a ransom for the man’s return.
Documents obtained by CTV Toronto allege Abdullahi Adan, a suspect who turned himself in overnight following a nationwide warrant for his arrest, “did kidnap Wanzhen Lu with intent to hold him for ransom against his will… and did without authority unlawfully confine Wanzhen Lu.”
Police have said Lu, a 22-year-old student from China, was violently abducted in the underground parking garage of his condo building in Markham, Ont. on the evening of March 23. Investigators said surveillance video taken from the garage showed one of the men shock Lu with a “conductive energy weapon” before he was forced into the van by three of the suspects.
Three days later, Lu was found alive in Gravenhurst, Ont., a town in Ontario’s cottage country located approximately 160 kilometres north of where the student disappeared. He suffered only minor injuries in the incident and has since been reunited with his family.
Police had previously told reporters there was no evidence to suggest the suspects had issued a ransom demand but that new details had supported the claim.
“We have found out that a ransom demand was made in this investigation, later on in the investigation though,” Const. Andy Pattenden with York regional police told CTV Toronto.
Police would not confirm how much the suspects were demanding or if it was paid.
Adan, 37, appeared in court in Newmarket, Ont. for a bail hearing on Tuesday morning. He is facing four criminal charges including kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault with a weapon and assault.
“The presumption of innocence is the golden thread that runs through our justice system,” Susan Pennypacker, Adan’s lawyer, told reporters outside the courthouse. “We are not a police state and we don’t judge cases through the media.”
He is the first of four suspects identified by police.
York Regional Police said the investigation is ongoing and they’re still searching for three remaining suspects who are considered armed and dangerous. Although their names have not been released, police have circulated surveillance images of the men.
“We are definitely closing in on those suspects,” Const. Andy Pattenden told CTV Toronto on Tuesday.
Pattenden also appealed to the public for help in identifying the suspects.
“Somebody is going to recognize who they are. We need you to call us. Let us know their names so that we can close in on them and get these three suspects in custody as well,” he said.
One of the male suspects is described as wearing a mask, blue pants, and a black jacket. Another suspect is described as a 6’1” tall dark-skinned male who was wearing a black Canada Goose jacket at the time of the incident. The final suspect is also male and he was wearing a green or yellow jacket with a hood.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney