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March 3, 2011

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Online gaming addict made airport bomb threat

AN online gaming addict threatened to bomb Pudong International Airport in a prank call as a forfeit for losing a computer game got out of hand.

The man, surnamed Liu, 20, has been jailed for six months for inventing false terrorist information, the Pudong New Area People's Court said yesterday.

The man said he didn't expect his call to have created such a big alert, after hearing police and airport staff spent more than 10 days taking counter-terrorism measures following his threat.

The Jiangxi Province native was addicted to Internet games and would play jokes with gaming friends. According to their rules, the losing side had to pay a forfeit decided by the winners.

On October 11 last year, Liu lost at Internet game.

As the forfeit, he had to call the Shanghai Airlines booking center and try to book a ticket to a virtual location in the Internet game. He also had to claim his brother was threatening suicide unless the booking was made.

"If my brother dies tonight because you don't sell me the air ticket, I will carry a bomb to blow up the airport and die together with you," Liu threatened in the call.

Police and airport staff immediately began emergency measures while searching for the caller.

Liu, umemployed, was detained in Jiangxi's Pingxiang City 12 days later.

He confessed to police that many online gamers would make prank calls to amuse themselves or attract attention.

Liu said other forfeits included the losers having to smoke cigarettes through their nostrils or drink two bottles of water at the same time.


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