Economy

Germany on alert after blackmailer threatens to poison food

Germany on alert after blackmailer threatens to poison food

German police say they're seeking one or more people who threatened to poison food sold by German companies unless they're paid millions of euros (dollars).

Earlier this month, police received an emailed threat to distribute 20 types of poisoned foodstuffs into supermarkets across Germany and overseas if they did not pay a sum believed to top €10 million ($12 million).

Police in Germany have arrested a man on suspicion of contaminating adult and baby food in the hope of gaining millions of euros from supermarkets.

DNA found on the baby food jars and pictures taken with a supermarket surveillance camera also pointed to the suspect, who wasn't identified due to German privacy rules, prosecutors said.

Police and prosecutors in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said the man arrested Friday is "urgently suspected" of attempted blackmail.

Police on Thursday released images of a suspect in a supermarket near Konstanz.

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The blackmailer alerted authorities that five jars of baby food at shops in Friedrichshafen, near Konstanz, had been tampered with. According to a report by the BBC, no injuries were reported relating to the poisoned food.

Local deputy chief of police Uwe Stuermer described the man as "eccentric" and mentally disturbed.

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

Officials didn't specify which retailers were targeted.


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