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Blackmailers threaten to poison food companies

© Jules Destrooper
© Jules Destrooper

An investigation has been launched into the extortioner(s) who tried to blackmail food companies such as IJsberke and Jules Destrooper, confirmed the federal public prosecutor.

The perpetrator(s) sent letters containing an unknown powder to companies both in Belgium and abroad. The Italian companies that make Lavazza coffee and Ferrero chocolate each received a letter as well. In the letter, the blackmailer(s) demand(s) 300,000 euros, to be paid in bitcoins. It is understood that the letters originated in Belgium.

If the companies do not comply with the demand before 20 May, the extortioner(s) threatened to poison the company’s products with oleandrin, a toxic substance that can cause heart failure.

“It is true that letters have been sent from Belgium to several companies in Western-Europe,” said Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesperson of the federal court. “The investigation is ongoing.”

Police and court are searching for the sender(s). So far, there have been no signs that the food production of the threatened companies is in danger. “Our biscuits are still perfectly fine. We will continue to enjoy them,” reacted the CEO of Jules Destrooper.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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