April 2, 2009
San Francisco police are alerting the Chinese business community about a telephone extortion attempt in which a Mandarin-speaking male telephones Chinese businesses demanding money. The caller appears to be using the telephone book yellow pages, advertisements, or the Internet to contact the businesses. The caller demands $20,000-$30,000 so that the caller's brother can be released from a jail in China. The caller threatens the recipient of the call with bodily harm if the money is not paid, although the suspect does not specify how the money is to be paid.
There have been 15 reported cases in San Francisco. The calls have not been confined to San Francisco, however. There have been approximately 60 reported cases in San Jose, Fremont, Sunnyvale, and Milpitas.
The San Francisco Police Department Gang Task Force has joined with other law enforcement agencies in the cities where these calls have occurred to investigate the calls. The F.B.I. Asian Organized Crime Squad is also involved.
San Francisco police urge anyone receiving a call from this suspect to contact Inspector Jameson Pon, Gang Task Force, 553-9221, or call the Confidential Tip Line, 415-575-4444.
For more information, please contact:
Public Affairs Office
850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103