A gang in northeastern China posing as anti-corruption prosecutors built a fake interrogation center with a government seal on the wall and kidnapped a local official and his wife to extort money.
Police arrested three people in the case and are looking for a fourth, Reuters said.
The suspects in Heilongjiang province kidnapped an agricultural official and his wife from their home.
The official, Zhang Wei, and his wife were told they were being arrested and had hoods placed over their heads. They were driven to a building made to look like an interrogation center, including a government seal on the wall, the report said.
“Two of them started to question me and came up with several issues of breaking the law. I said these issues simply didn’t exist, and when after a few hours they’d not got any answers, they started to get nervous,” Zhang said.
Zhang eventually negotiated his release by agreeing to pay about $63,000. When he and his wife were freed to retrieve the money, Zhang called the police.
Police said the gang spent about $30,000 constructing the fake interrogation center during a three-month build out.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.