The Edmonton Police Service have issued a warning to NAIT students about a virtual kidnapping scheme impacting the Chinese community in British Columbia.
In July of this year, RCMP in lower mainland British Columbia became aware of a fraud trend involving Chinese foreign nationals. Now, Edmonton post-secondary students are being asked to keep an eye out, in fears it will come to Alberta.
“While no incidents have been reported in Edmonton to date, we are concerned that these alleged kidnappings could be or are already occurring here,” said Sgt. Kevin Harrison with the EPS Crisis Negotiator Unit. “We want the Chinese community to know that they can contact police and that we are able to help.”
Targeting primarily young, female students, the suspects pose as Chinese government
officials or Chinese law enforcement and reportedly contact their victims via phone to advise them that they have been implicated in crimes in China.
The suspects then threaten harm to the victim’s family unless the victim goes into hiding, convincing them that contacting Canadian law enforcement will result in deportation. Once in hiding, the suspects allegedly contact the victim’s family, informing them that a family member is being held against their will and demanding money for their safe release.
The EPS has connected with the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Calgary which reminds all Chinese nationals that anyone involved in a criminal investigation in China will not be contacted by phone and will not be asked to provide personal information.
Anyone who has been impacted by this type of crime is encouraged to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm.