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Extortionist threatened poisoning

A MAN who threatened a number of major domestic food producers that he would poison their products sold in supermarkets has been arrested for blackmail.

Lian Zhenghuan, 37, a native from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, allegedly express delivered 25 threatening letters, together with bromadiolone, a rat poison, to food companies throughout the country.

City police also seized 34 threatening letters Lian hadn't yet sent when he was caught, Minhang District prosecutors said yesterday.

The victims include Uni-President Group, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group and Laoganma Food Co Ltd.

The suspect told prosecutors he stopped working for a company in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, in May because he was paid too little.

He said, while trying to find a new job, he read a news report that somebody managed to extort a large sum of money from a company with threats.

"I went to the supermarkets to collect telephone numbers and addresses of the well-known food producers," Lian said.

He made many copies of a threatening letter and bought more than 50 small bags of rat-killing poison from an agricultural market, prosecutors said.

On May 24, Lian allegedly gave 25 threatening letters to an express delivery company to deliver with the bags of poison.

A large dairy company reported the threatening letter to police soon after receiving it.

The letter said: "It is much more difficult to keep a brand than create a brand. If you don't want your products to be related to bromadiolone, contact us immediately. It will be too late to seek solutions when problems happen."

Police tracked the express delivery company.

Two weeks after Lian had sent the letters he only received 500 yuan from a preserved vegetable company, so he made another 34 copies of the letter.

When he gave the letters to the delivery company on June 8, he was caught by police, prosecutors said.


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