Mystery man placed bag over boy's head in alleged kidnapping


A mystery man placed a bag over a 12-year-old boy’s head before bundling him into a car during an alleged kidnapping on the Gold Coast last week, a court has heard.

Zheng Jie Zhang, 53, faced Southport Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with six offences including kidnapping for ransom, but police are also looking for a second man.

During Zhang’s unsuccessful bail hearing it was revealed the boy told NSW detectives he’d been walking to his Mudgeeraba home from school on Friday when he was grabbed by a man and bundled into the back of a black SUV with a bag placed over his head.

While the boy did not recognise the man who grabbed him, it’s alleged he identified Zhang as the driver of the vehicle as he was already known to the youth.

Alleged kidnapper Zhen Jie Zhang is seen on arrival to the police watchhouse at Southport on the Gold Coast. The alleged victim is pictured inset. Source: AAP/Police

Police say Zhang was in the car with the boy, who was bound and gagged in the back seat, when he was arrested in Grafton at about midday on Saturday.

The boy has since been reunited with his family, and police confirmed on Tuesday they were seeking a second person in relation to the alleged kidnapping.

Police claim the kidnapping was a result of the boy’s family falling out with Zhang over “substantial” personal loans.

They appealed to the Chinese community on Tuesday afternoon to find the second man involved in the abduction.

Police say Zhang was in the car with the boy, who was bound and gagged in the back seat, when he was arrested in Grafton at about midday on Saturday. Source: AAP

Detective Inspector Marc Hogan described him as a thin, young Asian man.

“Police will allege that this person was who actually got out of the vehicle and grabbed the young boy placing that young boy in the vehicle,” he said.

The appeal was repeated in Cantonese by Chinese-speaking Constable Pepsi Li.

Denied bail on Tuesday, Zhang was remanded in custody and his matter adjourned until June 5.