Guitar tutor held over blackmail claims

Chen Huizhi
Police say threats were made by a man deep in debt that a student's family would be hurt if the father didn't pay him over 5 million yuan.
Chen Huizhi

A man who worked as a guitar tutor has been detained for allegedly blackmailing his student’s family, Shanghai police said on Monday.

Ling, who lives in Huangpu District, had hired Zheng, who worked at a music school on Huaihai Road M., to teach his 8-year-old son guitar at the end of last year.

Zheng, who came to Ling’s home to teach, charged 300 yuan (US$43) per class.

On April 4, Zheng, when having dinner at Ling’s home, said he owed 2 million yuan to loan sharks in his hometown. Ling fired him out of concern for the tutor's background.

Later that month, Zheng met Ling at his residential complex and threatened him, saying if Ling didn’t pay him 5.04 million yuan, he would hurt him and his family since he knew where they went every day, police said.

Ling reported the case to the district police, and Zheng was soon apprehended.

Zheng is said to have confessed and said he had blackmailed Ling out of desperation over his debt and after seeing that Ling’s home was luxurious.

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