3 Chinese international students targeted in ransom scam found safe

Toronto police say the three Chinese international students who were targeted by a kidnapping scam have all been found. The students were told to go into hiding by a caller threatening their families, according to police.

The students were told to go into hiding in order to protect their families

Ke 'Jaden' Xu, 16, was found safe after disappearing last Thursday. (Toronto Police Service)

Three Chinese national students believed to have been targeted by a kidnapping scam have been found safe, Toronto police say.

Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu said Ke (Jaden) Xu, 16 was found Monday but did not have any further details. The other two students were located over the weekend.

Xu was last seen at 10:30 a.m. ET on Nov. 9, around Eglinton Avenue East and Midland Avenue.  

He was one of three Chinese international students who may have received threatening phone calls before disappearing, according to police.

"They're being told they need to go into hiding, not to use their cellphones, not to contact their families and not to use any form of social media or the internet," said Const. Craig Brister.

Brister said the scammer would then contact the victims' families to tell them their child has been kidnapped and demand a large ransom.

Two students found over the weekend

On Sunday night, Yue (Kandy) Liu, 17 who had been missing since Nov. 10, was located in Montreal.

"Obviously (she is) traumatized by the whole thing but at no point was she harmed or her family," said Sidhu. 

Liu became aware it was a scam Sunday night and contacted police, Sidhu explained.

"When she actually turned on her phone she was inundated with messages advising her that it was actually a scam and she was not in danger and her family was not in danger and it was at that point she contacted police," she said. 

Juanwen Zhang, 20, who had been missing since Nov. 8, was also found safe on Saturday.