A young woman and four other individuals in the Spanish island of Tenerife were arrested on Wednesday after the five reportedly faked a ransom video in order to be able to extort money from the young woman’s mother.

The young woman, who was not named and is said to be 30 years old, was seen in a video where she appeared to be blindfolded with a knife on her throat and blood coming out of her mouth while she begged her mother to help her by paying off the assailants, according to the Times UK.

“Mummy, they’ve kidnapped me mummy, and I don’t know why,” she said in the recording. “You can’t say anything to the police. If you do they’ll kill me.”

Among the other things that she claimed the people who kidnapped her had done was beating her up and not feeding her food, and that they were asking for a US$50,000 ransom for the young woman’s safe return, the Daily Beast reported.

However, authorities have come forward to say that the young woman herself was never in danger at all, and that the ransom video was all an elaborate con to extort money from her own mother–even using fake blood in her mouth to sell the illusion of danger from the four other individuals who agreed to help her with her scheme.

“The victim received a video in which her daughter appeared gagged and with fake blood, in which she asked crying that they pay the amount demanded by her alleged kidnappers,” the Civil Guard said in a statement.

The Civil Guard in Spain has also said that this is not the first time that the parent has had to pay money due to her daughter being in danger: she had previously paid around US$45,000 in three previous occasions due to letters threatening the life of her daughter.

Investigating the case, the Civil Guard found that the woman was free to come and go as she wanted, and that while her mother was worrying for her life, she and her supposed kidnappers were at a slot-machine casino together.

The five have been charged with extortion, which carries a sentence of one to five years in Spain, as well as other charges that have not yet been specified.

A woman and four other individuals found themselves charged with extortion on Wednesday after she allegedly faked a hostage video in order to get her mother to pay her over US$50,000. This is a representational image. James Kovin/Unsplash.

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