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'Transformers 4' Hong Kong set sees a second extortion attempt

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Transformers
DreamWorks

Police are investigating a second reported extortion attempt at the Hong Kong film set of the latest Transformers movie, authorities say.

A government statement received overnight said a production company crew member was setting up on the roof of a building in Kowloon on Tuesday when four men “intimidated her and asked for money.”

She called police, who arrested a 35-year-old man. He’s being held pending further inquiries. The three others are still wanted. The case has been classified as blackmail, and a police anti-triad unit is investigating. Triads are Chinese organized crime gangs.

Police arrested two brothers last week after director Michael Bay was assaulted at another filming location. They allegedly demanded 100,000 Hong Kong dollars ($13,000).

Transformers: Age of Extinction is set for release in June 2014. It’s partly set in Hong Kong, where filming involving stars including Mark Wahlberg has attracted attention.

Non-violent attempts at extortion involving location filming have been an occasional problem for Hollywood over the years. They usually involve residents disrupting filming by making noise or other means in an effort to prompt a payoff. In recent years, studios have been more diligent with compensation to residents in neighborhoods where films are shot.

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