Police locate one of three missing Chinese students linked to ransom scam

Police say three people believed to be victims of a scam targeting Chinese students have been located.

Investigators believe the disappearances are part of plot in which scammers instruct the Chinese students to go into hiding under threat that their relatives will be harmed.

The suspects, police say, then told family members that the students had been kidnapped and demanded a large sum of money to secure their release. "They don't have a lot of friends or family here in Canada".

All four missing young people were safely located in recent days after fraudsters tried unsuccessfully to extort ransoms from their families in China.

"The students are somewhat isolated", Const. Craig Brister said over the weekend. "Jaden was located in Toronto, safe and sound", Detective Scott Hampson of 41 Division said in an interview Monday.

Police say Juanwen Zhang, 20, was last seen downtown (near Yonge and College streets) on Wednesday, while Ke "Jaden" Xu, 16, was last seen on Thursday (near Eglinton Avenue East and Midland Avenue) in the Scarborough area.

They say Yue (Kandy) Liu, 17, who disappeared on November 10, was found Sunday in Kirkland, Que.

"She is described as 5'6", with a thin build, long black hair and brown eyes.

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

Vanessa Coleman