Blackmailer poisons baby food in Germany, threatens rest of Europe

Blackmailer poisons baby food in Germany, threatens rest of Europe

Troy Powers
October 1, 2017

A suspect was sought by police in Germany after sending an email to selected grocery stores demanding a $12 million ransom otherwise he would place poisoned foodstuffs, particularly #Baby Food, on the shelves of #German stores. Otherwise, he threatened to leave 20 poisoned foods in various supermarkets.

While police believe they do have the suspect in custody, there was reportedly no confirmation that it was the man pictured in the surveillance images.

The jars contained ethylene glycol, a compound used in antifreeze and brake fluid, which is toxic and fatal in large quantities.

The blackmailer alerted authorities that five jars of baby food at shops in Friedrichshafen, near Konstanz, had been tampered with.

The colourless substance has a sweet taste and is known to attract children and animals. So far there are no reports of any injuries.

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News of the alleged blackmail came at a joint press conference between the police and prosecutor's office, who warned that the threat could affect Germany and other European countries, Efe news agency reported. "[But] there is no reason for panic or hysteria".

The accused extortionist's DNA was found on the contaminated jars, and pictures taken by a supermarket surveillance camera matched the suspect.

Officials said they believe all of the contaminated food has been found but warned shoppers to remain alert to any possible signs of product manipulation. The footage was made public to help in the search.

"The case is hard because the blackmailer did not say which food will be targeted or what poison he will use", a consumer protection official quoted by Reuters said.