Students

Chinese students in Australia forced to stage their own kidnapping

Offshore criminals have targeted students to extort money from relatives in China
Chinese students in Sydney are being targeted in a kidnapping scam forcing them to pay massive ransoms to fraudsters, according to Australian police.

In many cases, students were threatened into coercing money from their own families and even forced to stage their own kidnapping to extort further funds from relatives in China.

Eight "virtual kidnappings" have been reported this year, including one where a $1.43m ransom was paid.

New South Wales police have urged students to immediately report any threatening calls they receive.

Frances Mao, the BBC's reporter in Sydney, explains the story to Newsday's Clare McDonnell.

(Photo: A student forced to fake her own kidnap, released by New South Wales Police. Credit: NSW Police)
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