A Chinese billionaire who was held ransom by kidnappers has told police that they also forced him to kill a woman while being filmed.
Zhang Yingqi, the 53-year-old chairman of the Sichuan Yibin Yili Group conglomerate, was abducted while riding an elevator in his residential building on Nov. 10, according to Chinese news reports.
Police said in a statement that four kidnappers — three men and one woman — pepper sprayed Zhang and then tied him with ropes, gagged and blindfolded him before taking him to a remote village home.
The kidnappers then threatened him with a handmade gun and demanded a 100-million yuan ($15.7 million) payment from the tycoon in exchange for his freedom, according to China Daily. They then reportedly coerced him into strangling to death a 23-year-old massage parlor worker they had also abducted. After filming the murder, they threatened to release the video if he did not pay the ransom by March 2016.
Shortly after, Zhang was released by his captors. He reported the incident to police the next morning and the suspects were arrested later that day.
At the crime scene, authorities found a burned body, gun, rope and oven, which they believe was used to try to get rid of the woman’s remains.