A 12-year-old boy allegedly kidnapped from near his Gold Coast home by a man involved in a financial dispute with his family has been reunited with his loved ones in NSW.
Queensland Police say a 53-year-old man who abducted the boy from outside his Mudgeeraba home on Friday afternoon will be charged with “kidnapping for ransom”.
The boy was found in Grafton in northern NSW on Saturday following a tip-off from a member of the public who recognised the dark blue Jeep SUV involved from a police appeal.
He had slight scratches “consistent with being bound”, Detective Inspector Marc Hogan told reporters in Burleigh Heads.
He didn’t suffer any serious injuries but was taken to Grafton Base Hospital for a check-up before being reunited with his family, who made the 200-kilometre journey south on Saturday evening accompanied by Queensland detectives.
The 53-year-old is expected to briefly appear in Grafton court on Sunday but Queensland Police won’t formally apply for his extradition in front of a magistrate until Monday.
The accused is understood to be an Australian citizen of Chinese heritage.
Investigators say it’s possible others were involved in the kidnapping.
“It’s the case that both parties were known to each other and there were financial issues involved in the lead-up to the abduction of the child,” Det Insp Hogan said on Saturday.
Police will allege that in the months before the kidnapping “requests were made for money”.
It’s thought the dispute involved “substantial” personal loans, Det Insp Hogan said.
“That led us pretty quickly to identifying who we should be looking at.”