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Man admits kidnapping kids for $1m ransom

A Melbourne man has admitted kidnapping two young siblings and demanding a $1 million ransom from their parents.

Ji Jiang, 37, on Friday pleaded guilty to breaking into a Blackburn North home armed with a knife and kidnapping a five-year-old girl and her three-year-old brother on August 21 last year.

The Mitcham man admitted asking for a $1 million ransom to release the children, who were found 12 hours later at a home in Mitcham.

But Ji will stand trial in the County Court after denying other charges.

It’s alleged he assaulted the children’s mother before taking the children in the family’s Mercedes-Benz.

He has pleaded not guilty to assault charges and the theft of the car, valued at $50,000.

“I drove the car, not because I wanted the car,” Ji told Melbourne Magistrates Court, where he appeared from custody via videolink.

Ji has not applied for bail and will return to court on July 4, ahead of the trial which is expected to take up to 10 days.

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