At least 50 teenage boys from China's Shanxi province are being held for ransom in a lawless area of Myanmar and have been threatened with torture if their parents fail to meet the kidnappers' ransom.
Some of these teenage boys like Zhou Dawei, 16, had wandered to the southwestern province of Yunnan at the borders with Myanmar to seek jobs. Zhou later called his parents and said that he would be executed if he did not pay a fine of 80,000 yuan (11,700 dollars).
Another victim Zhang Bo was released after the ransom was electronically wired to the kidnapper’s bank account. Zhang had been offered 10 days of work for 6,000 yuan.
Chinese police are said to know the locations of the kidnapped boys but are unable to intervene as it falls outside their jurisdiction. The Myitkyina area is ruled by militants that are not under central control. What the Chinese can do is only to set up a special task force for resolving this problem while the China's Ministry of Public Security began investigative procedures.
Channelnewsasia, "Chinese teenagers held for ransom in Myanmar" dated 21 January 2009 in the Channelnewsasia website [downloaded on 23 Jan 2009], available at