Chinese student kidnapped in Canada found safe, say Canadian police

Mr Lu Wanzhen's disappearance made headlines and sparked concerns over the safety of Chinese nationals in Canada.
Mr Lu Wanzhen's disappearance made headlines and sparked concerns over the safety of Chinese nationals in Canada.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TORONTO - A Chinese student who was kidnapped by masked stun-gun toting assailants in the greater Toronto area has been found safe as Canadian police stepped up their operations to nab the suspects.

Days after Mr Lu Wanzhen, 22, was kidnapped, the student was found knocking on the door of a house at about 9pm on Tuesday (March 26) in the town of Gravenhurst, located about 200km north of Toronto.

Mr Lu asked for help and the homeowner immediately called the police, said York Regional Police spokesman Andy Pattenden.

Three armed suspects forced Mr Lu into a black minivan last Saturday and fled from an underground parking garage of a condominium building.

There are four suspects, including the minivan driver, in the alleged abduction.

The suspects' vehicle had no front licence plate. The back plate, which was stolen, was CEAR350.

A surveillance video from the scene showed three suspects wearing hoodies that partly shielded their faces, according to Xinhua news agency.

Mr Lu's friend, who was with him, was not injured, but she was traumatised by the incident.

The van used in the kidnapping was found in Toronto on Monday.

The reasons for the kidnapping remain unclear, said Mr Pattenden. He also did not comment on how Mr Lu was able to escape.

"We still have four suspects that are still outstanding in this investigation," the Globe and Mail quoted Mr Pattenden as saying.

"Four suspects that were willing to go into that underground parking garage, took Mr Lu with a significant amount of force, loaded him into a van, and basically kept him wherever they kept him for 72 hours before finally releasing him."

Mr Lu was sent to a hospital for a check-up and was waiting to be reunited with his family who flew in from China following news of his disappearance.

Mr Lu's disappearance made headlines and sparked concerns over the safety of Chinese nationals in Canada, in the light of the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in December.

Parents who plan to send their children to Canada for studies are increasingly asking service agencies about the issue of safety in Canada, China's Global Times reported.