Three Chinese men were detained Saturday in northeast China for allegedly kidnapping a 66-year-old Japanese tourist and demanding a 5.1 million yen ransom from his family.
Eizaburo Yamanaka, a former employee of a trading company, was found safe the same day in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, Japanese police said. He had been on a five-day trip to China, they said.
The kidnappers called his family in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward a total of 11 times on Thursday and Friday seeking a 5.1 million yen ransom and ordering the family to bring it to Shenyang, police said.
The family reported the incident to police officials in Tokyo, who contacted their Chinese counterparts after confirming that Yamanaka had failed to board his return flight to Japan. They then conducted a joint investigation into the case.
The kidnappers told Yamanaka’s wife in Japanese that they had kidnapped her husband, only wanted money and had no intention of killing him.
They said they were members of the Chinese mafia and spoke in the dialect of Kansai, leading police to believe that at least one of them is Japanese.
The suspects were detained before members of Yamanaka’s family, who went to China, contacted them.
The Japanese Consulate General in Shenyang received a phone call from the Chinese authorities at around 9 a.m. Saturday, saying they had found Yamanaka safe.
Japanese investigators said they met with Yamanaka around 10:35 a.m. Saturday, adding that he appeared to be in good health.
Yamanaka reportedly said he did not believe he would return home alive.
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