(Minghui.org) Police in Shandong Province have been extorting money from Falun Gong practitioners. They arrested practitioners to force their families to hand over money in exchange for their release.

Chief Liu Hongwei of Sujiadian Police Station, Qixia City, Shandong Province, ordered this extortion campaign, which began in September 2015.

Liu first ordered police officers to ransack local practitioners' homes. Once they found Falun Gong books, MP3 music, or other Falun Gong informational materials, they confiscated the materials and demanded money from the practitioners' families. If the family refused to pay, they arrested the practitioners and threatened to transfer them to a prison unless they were paid.

The police extorted 2,000 yuan from Ms. Wu Chunhong's family on September 22; 8,000 yuan from Ms. Jiang Shujuan's family on September 26; 5,000 yuan from Ms. Su Meizhi's family; and 10,000 yuan from Mr. Wu Fachun and Ms. Wu Xiurong's family.

Ms. Li Shangying was arrested and detained on September 26, because she refused to give them money. They did not release her until her family handed over 5,000 yuan in the afternoon.

Mr. Yang Chunqing's family handed over 5,000 yuan on December 14.

Mr. Chen Zhanquan and his wife Ms. Li Yunhua's were in their orchard pruning their apple trees on December 15. Police went to the orchard to arrest them. Policeman Ma Tengfei beat Mr. Chen at the police station with a steel club because he refused to give up Falun Gong.

The officers then asked for money, but the couple refused to pay. Then, police demanded that the store owner who stored the couple's apples to pay 5,000 yuan. They told the store owner that he would get his money back when Mr. Chen sold his apples. The store owner had little choice but to hand over the money.

Participants in the persecution of practitioners:Sujiadian Police StationLiu Hongwei, Station Chief, +86-60075027, +86-15054559264 (Mobile), +86-13964584592 (Mobile), +86-13708915819 (Mobile)Ma Tengfei, policeman, +86-60075291, +86-15910031088 (Mobile)