Peel region police Insp. George Koekkoek says 46-year-old Chinese national Guo Wei Wu is being held in China after authorities there recognized him in an Interpol notice.
Police allege Wu was behind a plot to kidnap and hold for ransom Xiu Jun (Johnny) Fei and Jiangou (Tony) Han, two men reported missing in Mississauga, Ont., in January 2011.
Fei, now 43, was released and found wandering in a Toronto parking lot days later while the remains of Han, 44, were located in July 2011 in a Markham, Ont.-area home.
Koekkoek says Wu is charged with "intentional homicide" — which carries a possible death sentence — and that Department of Justice is awaiting a formal request from Chinese authorities before evidence could be handed over.
The inspector says Wu is to face justice in China as there is no extradition treaty between the two countries.
Six others were found guilty in Canada and handed sentences from 11 months to two years for their involvement in the deadly kidnapping, Koekkoek said Thursday. Wu had been sought on a Canada-wide arrest warrant and was featured in an episode of "America's Most Wanted."
Koekkoek said he'd heard Wu was in China, his country of birth. Koekkoek said Wu was arrested on an unrelated matter in October before being subsequently re-arrested, with the RCMP liaison officer in China notified.
"We believed that he had fled to China but that was never confirmed, so it certainly wasn't a surprise to investigators on our team that he was arrested there," said Koekkoek, who couldn't confirm Wu's legal status in Canada.
A spokeswoman said she could not comment on whether Justice Canada would turn over evidence should the death penalty remain on the table as a possible sentence.
The issue has come up before in the case of a 21-year-old Chinese exchange student whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase outside Vancouver in 2002.
Chinese national Ang Li was subsequently arrested in China and put on trial in Beijing. The RCMP only provided authorities there evidence after the Chinese government promised Li wouldn't face a possible execution.
He was convicted in September 2012 of murdering Zhao and sentenced to life in prison.
Li, who has since changed his name to Jia-ming Li, was once Zhao's boyfriend and became a suspect in the murder, but fled to China before charges were laid against him in British Columbia.
— By Will Campbell in Toronto