A 12-year-old boy abducted from a Gold Coast street was kidnapped and likely bound as part of an ongoing dispute over personal loans involving a “substantial” amount of money, investigators say.
The boy was found on Saturday afternoon in Grafton in northern NSW following a tip-off from a member of the public who recognised the dark blue Jeep SUV involved from a police appeal.
The 12-year-old was last seen being pulled into the vehicle in Mudgeeraba on Friday afternoon.
Detective Inspector Marc Hogan says the boy was located by NSW officers in the Jeep along with a 53-year-old man.
It’s expected the man will be charged with kidnapping for ransom after he’s extradited back to Queensland.
The 12-year-old had slight scratches “consistent with being bound”, Det Insp Hogan told reporters in Burleigh Heads on Saturday.
The 53-year-old is understood to be an Australian citizen of Chinese heritage.
Queensland Police 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.
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.”
Road cameras were used to gauge the general direction the Jeep was travelling in after it crossed the border into NSW.
Investigators from both states then worked together before the tip-off came in.
Queensland detectives are accompanying the boy’s family to NSW to reunite them with the 12-year-old who’s in Grafton Base Hospital. He suffered “no major injuries”.
Queensland Police will on Monday apply for the man’s extradition back across the border.
It’s alleged the boy was abducted from outside his house after returning home from school on Friday afternoon.