Five men who staged the fake kidnapping of a handcuffed man and posted footage of his 'escape' on YouTube have been charged by West Australian police.
Detectives originally called for witnesses last September after reports a handcuffed youth had apparently rolled out the back of a vehicle onto a busy Perth street. One eyewitness told police she had seen a thin, fair-skinned male aged about 14 roll out the back of a white-coloured ute or hatch vehicle.
The boy was reportedly wearing underpants but no shirt or shoes and was handcuffed, with his mouth taped. On Tuesday, police said they would allege the incident was a planned hoax by five men, who recorded the incident, edited the footage and uploaded it to the YouTube account of one of the alleged offenders.
A police spokeswoman said significant police resources had been expended at the time to investigate the suspected kidnapping. A 25-year-old Balcatta man, 23-year-old Shenton Park man, 22-year-old West Leederville man, 21-year-old Wembley man and a 21-year-old Carine man have been charged with creating a false belief and will appear in Perth Magistrates Court on March 5.