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Chinese businesses on alert after dealth thre -

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Chinese businesses on alert after death threats

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Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 28/07/2009

Reporter: James Kelly

Chinese business people in South East Queensland say they have received dozens of death threats in
what appears to be a wave of extortion sweeping the area. Police from the organised crime -Asian
specialist - unit are investigating the complaints and examining possible links with problems in
others states.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: In Australia, Chinese business people are being warned to be on the alert
after a wave of extortion demands. Dozens of death threats have been made against people in south
east Queensland, with police now investigating possible links to cases around Australia. James
Kelly reports.

JAMES KELLY, REPORTER: Police say 20 businesses in Brisbane and the Gold Coast have been bombarded
with telephone calls and text messages demanding large amounts of money. In most cases, business
owners are told to pay up or be killed.

ANONYMOUS BUSINESSWOMAN: He says that he got the group of the people, around seven or eight
peoples, and they've been watching me for - me and my family for two weeks.

JAMES KELLY: This businesswoman and mother of two wants to stay anonymous. She says the thugs told
her they wanted the money to go back to China.

ANONYMOUS BUSINESSWOMAN: They want to borrow money from me, and they will return the money back to
me next week. If I'm not doing that, and they may hurt me or my family.

JAMES KELLY: And it seems it's a typical story.

CHIU-HING CHAN, AUST. CHINESE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: People are threatening to kill their family or
bash their relatives if they don't actually pay a sum of money.

JAMES KELLY: Queensland Police say Chinese business people should be on high alert.

GAYLE HOGAN, QUEENSLAND POLICE: Any threats of this nature are a worry to police.

JAMES KELLY: Police are investigating if organised crime gangs are responsible for the death
threats. They're also speaking with the authorities in NSW and Victoria, where similar problems
have been reported.

Like the police, the Australian Chinese General Chamber of Business doesn't know exactly where the
threats are coming in from.

CHIU-HING CHAN: When it comes to criminal syndicates, yes, it is predominantly over in China, Hong
Kong, Taiwan and, as I said, also down in Sydney as well.

GAYLE HOGAN: If anyone is contacted by these people, we would want them to hang up straight away,
contact the police.

JAMES KELLY: The maximum penalty for extortion in Queensland is 14 years gaol. James Kelly,
Lateline.