Manhunt for kidnap suspect goes global
A KEY suspect in the kidnapping of a Gold Coast schoolboy remains on the run, as detectives probe possible links to a global extortion racket.
Cops are desperately tracking the mystery man amid fears the racket runs much deeper than initially thought.
Witnesses have told police they saw two men in the car that abducted the 12-year-old boy on Friday afternoon.
One of the men, Zhen Jie Zhang, will face court in Grafton, NSW, on Monday morning, as police expand their search for the second man today.
The boy's father - who reportedly owes $4 million in gambling debts - is believed to be in China, leaving his estranged family on the Gold Coast to pick up the pieces.
The boy's mother and a companion rushed to Grafton on Saturday night to be by the child's side.
"There's going to be so much more to this story," a detective told The Courier-Mail yesterday. "We're only just scratching the surface."
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was pulled into a black SUV on his way home from school about 3.45pm on Friday. He was found in Grafton on Saturday afternoon tied to his car seat by the neck. The boy's Chinese father has denied he owes money.
Neighbours reported having seen strange men knock on the door of the family's Mudgeeraba townhouse at all hours in recent weeks.
One resident said the father was rarely seen at the house, which is believed to be the family's second home.
"The family is estranged," one neighbour said. "(The boy's) sister told me they don't get to see their dad much anymore."
Chinese gamblers regularly travel to Australia to visit casinos as betting is banned in mainland China.
Gold Coast Detective Inspector Marc Hogan said police would be looking to extradite a 53-year-old man of Chinese heritage to Queensland today and charging him with kidnapping for ransom.
"It's the case that both parties were known to each other and there were financial issues involved," he claimed.
- Additional reporting by Ryan Keen