A Winnipeg man got a second chance at a life in Canada after faking his own kidnapping to pay off a gambling debt.
As reported by the Winnipeg Free Press, Yang Xi, was spared a criminal conviction at the Manitoba provincial court this week that would have resulted in being deported to China. Xi previously pleaded guilty to public mischief, but was granted a three-year conditional discharge with three years of supervised probation. During that period, he must complete 240 hours of community service and abstain from all forms of gambling, even scratch and win tickets.
The court heard that Xi had disappeared for several hours when his wife and mother received a video text message of him struggling on the ground with his hands and feet bound together with tape. A second message sent to his mother demanded that $66,000 be paid within the next 10 hours and if family members reported the incident to police, Xi would not be seen again. His wife received another text message shortly after that said if family members had any final words for him, it would be his last night.
Xi’s wife called the local police who traced his cellphone to a St. Vital apartment. He was found inside the location, unharmed and with two friends. In an interview with police, he admitted that he had made a mistake and explained that he lost $40,000 to a gambling addiction, and needed money to pay off his debt.