Kansas City Area Man Indicted for Conspiracy to Kidnap and Use Weapons of Mass Destruction
Federal courthouse-Kansas City, Missouri.

KANSAS CITY, MO – A Kansas City area man made an initial court appearance in federal court yesterday after being indicted for conspiracy to kidnap persons and use weapons of mass destruction in a foreign country.

Forty-year-old Claude N. Chi of Lee’s Summit is among three U.S. citizens from Cameroon who are charged in a four-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City.

The indictment alleges Chi raised funds for equipment, supplies, weapons and explosive materials for separatist fighters in Cameroon since 2018.  According to the indictment funds were raised through online chat applications and payment platforms from individuals in the United States and abroad.

In addition to raising more than $350,000, Chi is alleged to have conspired to kidnap civilians in Cameroon and hold them for ransom.  In some cases, U.S. citizens were extorted for ransom payments to secure the release of their kidnapped relatives living in Cameroon.  The ransom payments were transferred to separatist fighters to fund their operations.

Chi faces a maximum punishment of up to 38 years in federal prison without parole.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or report a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

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