Wed, Jun 08, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Police nab Tainan man threatening to poison drinks

COPYCAT A man said to be heavily in debt tried to extort money from a food and drink company by threatening to put poison in its wares


Would-be drink poisoner Hsu Juei-kun (許瑞坤) was arrested yesterday as he was about to collect extorted money from President Enterprises.

"According to our investigation, Hsu committed the crime alone. The result of an immediate and detailed probe also showed that he had not poisoned any President Enterprises product, as he had claimed," said Fan Wen-hao (范文豪), spokesman for the Tainan District Prosecutors' Office.

According to Fan, Hsu told police and prosecutors that he has outstanding debt of more than NT$400,000 (US$12,840), so he decided to attempt to imitate energy-drink poisoner Wang Chin-chan (王進展) in order to extort money from the well-known food and drink manufacturer. However, he didn't spike any of the company's products with poison.

On Monday, Hsu called President Enterprises headquarters in Tainan and asked for NT$5 million. He threatened to poison the company's products if they did not pay up. President Enterprise products are sold at RT-Mart and other convenience stores across the country.

According to police, after four phone conversations with company officials, Hsu agreed to accept NT$500,000.

The plan was to deliver the money to the Hsinshih Intersection on Chungshan Freeway, in Tainan County at 4pm yesterday afternoon. Hsu was arrested at the scene by police officers who pretended to be President employees.

After the incident, President headquarters immediately informed three RT-Mart store in Tainan to remove its products from the shelves.

Since Hsu was arrested within 24 hours of his first phone call, RT-Mart has re-ordered President Enterprises products and began to re-shelve them as of 1pm yesterday.

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