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Missing Chinese student found days after being kidnapped in Canada|
CNN Digital Expansion 2017. James Griffiths
By James Griffiths, CNN
A Chinese student who was attacked with a stun gun and kidnapped in Canada has been found unharmed, police said.
Lu Wanzhen, 22, was seized on Saturday from an underground parking garage by four masked men. Police had been searching for him, but only succeeded in tracking down the car used in his abduction.
A 35-year-old man earlier arrested in connection with the case was released unconditionally, and the suspects remain at large.
"On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, shortly before 9 p.m., a man walked up to a residence on Doe Lake Road in the town of Gravenhurst (in Ontario), looking for help," police said in a statement. The man was later identified as Lu and taken to hospital with minor injuries suffered in the kidnapping.
"Investigators have been in close contact with Mr. Lu's family and have provided them with the updated information," the statement said.
Lu and a female friend were exiting his car in an underground parking lot on Saturday night in the Ontario city of Markham when four masked men grabbed him, police said. One was carrying a taser, and used it on Lu as he attempted to resist. Lu's friend was unharmed.
Surveillance footage released by police showed men wearing bulky black jackets with their faces covered grabbing Lu and bundling him into a black minivan with stolen plates. It was later found abandoned in nearby Toronto.
Little information on Lu or the potential motive behind the kidnapping has been released. CNN affiliate CBC reported that in 2017, at least three Chinese international students were targeted by scammers who attempted to extort money from their families back in China.
CTV News, a CNN affiliate, said Lu drove expensive luxury cars, including a Lamborghini and a Rolls Royce.
Police said they would keep searching for the kidnappers and urged the suspects to "seek legal counsel and turn themselves in."
Chinese Students Studying In Canada Are Being Targeted For Kidnapping And Ransoming Scams
Vancouver police are warning about schemes dubbed "virtual kidnappings" aimed mainly at young women from Mainland China who are studying in Canada on student visas.
Sgt. Jason Robillard says two students have been targeted recently in separate and elaborate extortion schemes.
He says the victim receives a phone call, sometimes from a number that appears to be from the Chinese consulate, advising of a warrant for their arrest in China or that the Chinese police need their help with an investigation.
Police say the student is convinced to make a fake video reporting their kidnapping, and without the victims’ knowledge, the video is used to extort money from the victim’s family in China.
Vancouver police received 20 reports of similar extortion attempts last year and Robillard says investigations are underway into the two incidents last week.
He says detectives believe the suspects are not likely in Canada.
"We want to remind all foreign students that the Chinese police will not arrest you in Canada, or ask you to take photos or videos of yourselves pretending to be the victim of crime," Robillard says in the release.
He urges foreign students who are confused or scared in this country to reach out to local police and reminds them that legitimate contact from Chinese authorities will first come through local police.
Best to stay away from Canada