U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
August 25, 2011
TWO CHINESE NATIONALS INDICTED FOR CONSPIRACY, KIDNAPPING
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A federal grand jury on Wednesday returned an indictment charging two Chinese nationals with allegedly kidnapping a college classmate in Providence and transporting him to the Boston area in an alleged plot to steal his luxury sport utility vehicle valued at $80,000, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.
Zhengpeng Hu, a/k/a Todd, 25, of Malden, Mass., and Shengfeng Cui, a/k/a Alex, 27, of East Providence, R.I., are charged with one count each of conspiracy and kidnapping. Hu, who is currently detained, is scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court on August 30. A federal arrest warrant has been issued for Shengfeng Cui, who is believed to have fled the country shortly after the alleged incident occurred.
According to the Indictment and court documents, in the early morning hours of April 2, 2011, a man and woman were allegedly attacked in a Providence apartment by two men brandishing a knife and a stun gun. The female victim was allegedly bound, placed into a suitcase and warned not to call police. She later freed herself and sought the assistance of a neighbor. The male victim was allegedly assaulted, bound, blindfolded and forced into a large storage bag. His attackers then allegedly carried him to a garage which housed his vehicle, a 2011 Porsche, placed him inside the vehicle and then drove him from the area. According to court documents, the victim was later placed into a second car, driven to an apartment in Malden, Mass., and confined inside a bathroom where he was restrained with duct tape and plastic ties.
During the alleged abduction and assault, the victim tried to negotiate with his kidnappers, but no demands were made of him. After being left alone in the apartment by his alleged abductors, the victim was able to free himself about two hours later and sought help from an apartment manager. Malden police later found Zhengpeng Hu on the roof of the building and arrested him. It is believed that Zhengpeng Cui fled the country shortly after the incident occurred.
The victim’s Porsche was later recovered in Cranston. The second vehicle allegedly used in the alleged abduction was recovered in East Providence.
The matter, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan, was investigated by the FBI, and the Providence and Malden police departments.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.