SCMP Saturday, September 9, 2000

Ransom calls torment missing boy's parents


The parents of missing Hong Kong boy Yu Man-hon have received a telephone call from a man demanding a ransom of $500,000 for the return of their autistic son.
It was the second phone call within 24 hours asking for a ransom from the family.
The boy's father, Yu Pui-lam, said: "The reward for people who can find our son is more than $1 million. There is no need to blackmail our family for half that amount."
Mr Yu, who continued the hunt for his son in Shenzhen last night, said a man who spoke Putonghua called his wife, Yu Lai Wai-ling, at their hotel at about 9am yesterday claiming Man-hon was with him. "My wife was told to bring $500,000 to a bus stop near the bridge in Chengan Lane, where there would be a man in a blue top waiting," Mr Yu said.
"But the caller hung up before we tried to get more details."
The first call came shortly after 9am on Thursday when a man who claimed Man-hon was working in a restaurant run by his friend asked for a ransom of 10,000 yuan (HK$9,100). The couple have reported both cases to the police.
Man-hon has been missing for 16 days, but his parents insist the search should continue and believe the boy will be found.
"I believe he has a strong determination to look for me," his mother said. Mrs Yu returned to Hong Kong yesterday to look after their younger son, 14. But she said she would return to the mainland to continue the search, which was joined by volunteers in Shenzhen yesterday.
Posters of Man-hon, who has a mental age of two, were also posted at stations on the Kowloon-Canton rail line yesterday.
The boy ran away from his mother at Yau Ma Tei MTR station on August 24.
Later the same day he was seen on the Shenzhen side of the border.
He was denied re-entry to Hong Kong after he was handed to officers by Shenzhen authorities. Man-hon was then sent back to the mainland side and disappeared.