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Wednesday, 21 March, 2001, 13:57 GMT
Blackmailer targets Jackie Chan film
Jackie Chan in Rush Hour
Filming is underway on the sequel to Rush Hour
By Hong Kong correspondent Damian Grammaticas

Police in Hong Kong have arrested a man accused of trying to blackmail the makers of Jackie Chan's new movie.

The man was detained as he tried to collect tens of thousands of dollars in protection money.

As one of the biggest Chinese stars in Hollywood, Jackie Chan is used to playing parts in action films about cops and robbers and the capers they get up to.

But Rush Hour 2 turned into a real life crime thriller when a man called to blackmail the production company.

It is claimed the man said he was a member of an active triad organised crime gang and shooting of the movie would be disrupted unless he was paid protection money of half a million Hong Kong dollars - around US$60,0000.

Swoop

The film makers agreed to his demand but notified the police. The cash was handed over but then officers swooped and arrested a 30-year-old alleged blackmailer in a restaurant in Hong Kong's red light district.

The money was recovered but two other men are still being sought.

Superintendent Chan Yee of Hong Kong island police thanked the film company for their co-operation.

It is claimed Hong Kong's secret criminal societies, the Triads, regularly make such demands from local movie makers and sometimes even finance some of the films themselves.

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See also:

25 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Saving Hong Kong's film heritage
25 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Chan's Hollywood horseplay
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