A HOUSEWIFE conspired with her husband and another man to obtain $2.8 million in ransom from her former lover by claiming that she had been kidnapped, a court heard yesterday. It is the Crown's case that Yang Mei-lin, 29, begged her former lover, Taiwanese businessman Chiang Hao-ming, to raise the sum during a long-distance call which she made to Mr Chiang in Taiwan on February 22 last year. Yang, the prosecution alleges, begged Mr Chiang, then 38, to ''save'' her by sending the money to her ''captors'' in Hong Kong. On trial in the District Court are Cheung Kam-wah, 24, manager of an investment company; his wife, Yang; and florist Siu Chi-wai, 32, who have all pleaded not guilty to a joint charge of conspiracy to obtain property by deception. The defendants, represented by John Pickavant, all denied having conspired to obtain $2.8 million from Mr Chiang by claiming that Yang had been kidnapped and the sum was required as a ransom for her release. The court heard that during the telephone conversation, a person alleged to be Siu snatched the handset from Yang and demanded the sum from Mr Chiang. He allegedly claimed that the sum was wanted as compensation for Yang's injuring his ''brothers'' and for goods allegedly lost in smuggling. Mr Chiang reported the matter to the Taiwanese police who in turn informed the Hong Kong police. The following day, a number of calls were made by the same man to Mr Chiang, the Crown alleges. The court heard that at midnight, the man called again and passed the phone to his ''big brother'', alleged to be Cheung, who urged Mr Chiang to send the money on March 1. Over the next few days, Mr Chiang allegedly continued to receive calls from the two men. The court heard that on February 26, 1993, Yang called again and told Mr Chiang that she could not stand it any more. She allegedly asked Mr Chiang if he had raised the sum. Mr Chiang falsely claimed that he had sent the money but it would not be ready for three days, the court was told. Police subsequently detected that Yang and Cheung were married and were living together in a Kennedy Town flat. The court heard that police investigations revealed that two calls made to Mr Chiang in Taiwan on March 1 last year came from the telephone in the flat, which was registered in Cheung's name. Prosecutor John Dunn said that Mr Chiang first met Yang in Taipei, in 1989. They lived together in Taipei and later that year Yang went to America where she gave birth to Mr Chiang's child. In 1992, after serving a short prison sentence, Mr Chiang again met Yang and asked her to come and live with him in Taipei. Yang at first refused saying she was tied down by smuggling debts, the court heard. However, she went back to live with Mr Chiang after he paid her more than $400,000 to clear these ''debts'', the court was told. On February 18 last year, Yang left Mr Chiang in Taipei and came to Hong Kong, telling him that she would be back in about 10 days. In Hong Kong, Yang stayed with Cheung whom she married while Mr Chiang was in prison. Mr Chiang had not known about the marriage. The trial continues before Judge Lugar-Mawson.