A woman from south China has been busted for faking her own kidnapping to get money from her husband, after she spent her savings on a new boyfriend she met online.
The woman from Tongzi county in Zunyi, Guizhou province, sent a mobile phone recording to her husband, demanding a 20,000 yuan (HK$23,200) ransom, the Guiyang Evening News reports.
The woman’s husband, identified only by his surname Hu, received a video on July 31 showing his wife with her mouth sealed with yellow tape and appearing to struggle.
Hu, who said his wife looked “like she was in massive pain”, transferred 3,000 yuan – all the money he had at the time – to the bank account designated by the “kidnapper”.
After failing to agree with the “kidnapper” on a time limit for transferring the remaining 17,000 yuan, Hu reported the case to Guizhou police.
The police investigation noticed that the shaking of the woman’s head in the video seemed to match the movement of the mobile phone on which she was being filmed, and they became suspicious.
A search of the designated bank account showed withdrawals in Henan province, almost 2,000km from Guizhou.
Police found the woman unrestrained and unharmed in the room of a construction site dormitory in Henan.
“She was lying on a bed and playing with her mobile phone when we found her,” a police officer was quoted as saying. There was no one else at the scene.
The woman, surnamed Chen, admitted faking her kidnapping after she spent up all her money on her boyfriend in Henan, whom she had met online.
She said she was too embarrassed to ask her husband for money so came up with the “kidnapping” idea.
Chen was brought back to Guizhou, where the police will decide on her subsequent punishment.
She could be charged with “disturbing social order”, said a lawyer from Guizhou, as the video she sent “caused social panic”, according to the report.