Tradie ties up and gags the boss’s wife, kidnaps his children and demands a $1 million ransom
- Jiangang Ji pleaded guilty to five charges, including kidnapping
- He denies other allegations, including assaulting the children’s mother
A Melbourne mother was bound and gagged by a man who broke into her home and kidnapped her two young children for 12 hours, demanding a $1 million ransom for their safe return.
Jiangang Ji, a construction worker, faced the first day of a trial in County Court on Wednesday on charges including assault at a house in eastern Melbourne in August 2021.
Before the trial began, the jury was told that Ji had pleaded guilty to five charges, including two counts of kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated burglary and theft of a vehicle.
He denies the other three charges.
Prosecutor Kristie Churchill said that on August 23 Ji drove to a home in Blackburn North, parked out front and waited an hour for the woman’s husband to leave for work.
Melbourne plasterer Jiangang Ji (pictured) abducted his boss’s two young children from a Melbourne home and demanded a $1 million ransom for their return, a court heard
Before the trial began, the jury was told that Ji had pleaded guilty to five charges, including two counts of kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated burglary and theft of a vehicle (pictured). He denies the other three charges
At around 6.30am, Ms Churchill said Ji broke into the house through an unlocked window while allegedly holding a knife.
Once inside, he confronted a woman and tied her hands together with tape, bandaged her legs and taped her mouth shut, she said.
Ji took her two children, both under the age of five, and put them in the family’s Mercedes-Benz, before returning to the house where he allegedly attacked the mother with a knife.
He then left and abducted the children in the family car.
The distressed woman ran outside while still bound and gagged and tried to get someone to call the police.
She told her husband what had happened and he called Ji, whom he knew from work.
Ji demanded $1 million from the husband for the safe return of his children.
Police arrested Ji at his home in Mitcham around 7pm as he attempted to move the family’s car.
The County Court of Victoria (pictured) heard the alleged crimes took place in the suburb of Blackburn North on the morning of 23 August 2021
Officers found the two children in the back seat of the car. He was questioned by the police, where he admitted some charges.
Ji’s attorney Carmela Pezzimenti said he denies assaulting the woman with a knife, along with two other charges.
“These other charges have not happened… he is currently presumed innocent,” she told the jury.
The trial before Judge Gabriele Cannon continues.