A 15-year-old Polish boy has been charged with fraud after allegedly faking his own kidnap to get a £4,000 ransom from his mum.
Police say it was the latest in a series of scams by the teenager which netted him a total of £8,000.
Dominik Borzecki, from Gdynia, north west Poland, allegedly began conning his mum earlier this year, when he told her he needed £60 to help a friend with a sick baby.
Police claim he then wheedled another £3,000 after telling her it was needed to pay bail for a fictional friend called Mirek.
Finally, he staged his own kidnap and demanded £4,000 for his safe return.
But instead of obeying the 'gang's' orders not to tell anyone about the snatch, the boy's terrified mum called police who were waiting for the boy and his 17-year-old 'kidnapper' when they turned up to make the swap.
"He's lucky she even thought about paying up. If I had a son like that I'd thank my lucky stars if someone kidnapped him," said a police source.