Kidnap ring suspect sent back to China from Venezuela

A Chinese man suspected of heading a kidnapping gang targeting Chinese nationals has been brought back to China from Venezuela, officials say.

The gang is also accused of carrying out robberies and extortion targeting Chinese nationals living or doing business in Venezuela.

The 26-year-old man, named as Mr Xi, arrived in China on Thursday.

He is reported to have gone to Venezuela at the age of 16 and turned to crime when his business struggled.

Mr Xi has now been sent to Guangdong province for further police investigation, officials say.

China's public security ministry reportedly received word from China's embassy in Venezuela in 2011 of dozens of cases of robbery, kidnapping and extortion targeting Chinese citizens.

In April 2011, Chinese police despatched a team to Venezuela to investigate the crimes.

In January, China's Public Security Ministry sent a nine-member group to Venezuela to arrest suspects, with Mr Xi thought to have been detained earlier this month with the help of Venezuelan authorities.

Mr Xi reportedly told police there were around 10 members in the gang.