Chinese student missing after being grabbed by armed gang near Toronto

Posted at 7:12 AM, Mar 26, 2019

Police in Canada are searching for a 22-year-old Chinese international student after he was apparently kidnapped on Saturday night in the Ontario city of Markham.

Lu Wanzhen and a female friend were exiting his car inside an underground parking lot around 6 p.m. when four masked men rushed him and grabbed him, police said . One of the men was carrying a taser, and when Lu attempted to resist, the man shocked him with it. Lu's friend was unharmed.

Surveillance footage released by police showed men wearing bulky black jackets with their faces covered grabbing Lu and bundling him into a black minivan with stolen plates, later found abandoned in nearby Toronto.

"We're very concerned for the safety of (Lu)," a York Police spokesman said Monday . "This incident involved a significant level of violence ... he was taken against his will, he was shocked and forced into that van."

The spokesman thanked the public for tips leading to the location of the van, and encouraged people to be on the lookout for Lu and the four suspects, photos and descriptions of whom have been released by police .

"We know somebody knows who these suspects are," he said. "If you know anything about who these people may be, please contact York Police."

According to CNN affiliate CBC , Lu's family is on the way to the Greater Toronto Area from China. The Chinese consulate in Toronto is also working with police on the case and is in communication with Lu's relatives.

Little information on Lu or the potential motivation behind the kidnapping has been released. CBC reported that in 2017, at least three Chinese international students were targeted by scammers who attempted to extort money from their families back in China.

CTV News , a CNN affiliate, said that Lu drove expensive luxury cars, including a Lamborghini and a Rolls Royce.

The garage in which he parked his car was supposed to be only accessible to residents, requiring a fob to enter, a fact that has greatly concerned his neighbors, CTV reported.