Chinese student in Toronto charged after faking his own kidnapping
A 16-year-old student from China is facing public mischief charges in Canada this week after allegedly staging his own kidnapping to get $1 million (and some attention) out of his parents.
York Regional Police say that the teenager, who cannot be identified due to his age, had only recently arrived in Canada when he was reported as kidnapped late last month.
Officers responded to a residence near Leslie Street and Highway 407 around midnight on September 27 to investigate, and were shown a video of the 16-year-old boy "bound, gagged and wearing a blindfold."
Police say the video had been sent to the student's parents in China through social media with a text message demanding $1 million for his release.
Roughly an hour and a half later, the teen was found unharmed at a restaurant in Richmond Hill.
"Further investigation revealed that the student had staged the kidnapping in an effort to get attention and cash from his parents," say York Regional Police. "He was placed under arrest and has since been charged."
The teen is scheduled to appear in court on October 31. Meanwhile, York Regional Police are reminding members of the public that reports of kidnapping are taken very seriously.
"Significant frontline police and investigative resources were engaged in this investigation," reads a release from the police force just north of Toronto.
"Staging an incident that results in the use of police resources when there was no such incident is a criminal offence. It also needlessly ties up valuable police resources that are required to deal with actual emergencies."
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