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German supermarket food poisoned by extortionist seeking millions

01 October, 2017, 00:20 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • German police urgently hunt for man suspected of poisoning baby food

One or more blackmailers have threatened to poison food products in shops in Germany and elsewhere in Europe unless they receive millions in cash, police warned on Thursday.

Police are searching for a suspect who was recorded on a supermarket's security cameras.

In Friedrichshafen, southern Germany, baby food jars containing ethylene glycol, the main ingredient of the antifreeze, were found. Poisoning with this substance leads to an urgent condition that requires rapid medical intervention.

Officials in the city of Konstanz say that the threatening email was sent to unspecified food retailers.

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.

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Several jars of baby food that had been contaminated with a liquid used in anti-freeze were subsequently recovered by police.

Authorities are "of the firm opinion" that the nabbed alleged racketeer is the only culprit and no others were involved, said chief prosecutor Alexander Boger said at a news conference Saturday, said the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Police have nevertheless alerted people buying groceries to be aware of suspect packaging which may have been tampered with. The footage was made public to help in the search.

The man was detained by officers near Tubingen, south of Stuttgart, following information received from the public, police and prosecutors said in a joint statement.

"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.

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