All things old China - books, anecdotes, stories, podcasts, factoids & ramblings from the author Paul French

A Shanghai Kidnapping Gone Wrong, 1935

Posted: April 18th, 2016 | No Comments »

In 1935 Shanghai was in the grip of a kidnapping surge as the city’s economy slumped suddenly…this attempted kidnapping in Frenchtown however went very wrong…one Sikh watchman wounded; one gangster dead…The kidnapee “Kal” (actually his initials were K.A.L. – Kyeuyoong Albert L.)  Suez went on to be quite a useful chap during the war developing a version of a flatbed truck that could withstand the terrible road conditions in Free China in 1941 and allowed guerillas to transport weaponry around the country. Suez was a lifelong motor guy – he’d worked as the Chinese sales manager and engineer for the Motor Management & Finance Co. in the city before becoming a manger at the A. F. & R. Service Co. At the time of the attempted abduction Suez was 30-years-old and Head Salesman for Bills Motors, a Ford representatives, in Shanghai. He also spent some time in the late 1930s living in Hong Kong, residing on Queens Road Central, after the Japanese invasion of mainland China.

Suez, was successful enough to have a chauffeur and was also a graduate of the University of Michigan (class of 1932). Digging a little deeper it seems Suez was a victim of mistaken identity, according to the French Surete in Shanghai. The kidnappers had been looking for another man who happened to live in the vicinity of where his car pulled up for a stop. Unlucky, but then rather lucky.

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