Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- A Florissant family is finally home safe, after a confiscated passport left them stranded in China for several weeks.

Craig Curless, his wife, Vickie, and their two children were the target of an alleged passport scam. Chinese officials reportedly took his passport and refused to give it back.

Attorney Brad Young represents the family.

“He was brought into a meeting. He was told that he would be given his passport if he promised to leave China which he did,”  Young says. “They gave him his passport and once that happened, he arrived home approximately a week ago.”

Young says it’s apparently common place for low-level officials or employers to confiscate foreign passports in China, then extort cash to return them.

“Local Chinese police will work along with fraudulent employers to confiscate passports,” Young says. “Then they get to extract a small fee, as it was told to the Curless’, to get their passports returned.”

Young says the Chinese only coughed up the husband’s passport after the U.S. Embassy got involved. The family is now back in Florissant, Mo. with no plans to go back to China.


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