Carrefour bomb extortionist jailed in southwest China

08:14, March 03, 2011      

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A man who planted a bomb to extort money from a southwest China outlet of French retail giant Carrefour has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Yue Jinwei, 31, was convicted of placing explosives in one Carrefour store and demanding 300,000 yuan (45,630 U.S. dollars) on June 19 last year, according to the written judgment handed down Tuesday at the Panlong District Court in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

Police arrested him that evening.

The Lingyun Law Firm, which represented Yue in the case, received the verdict Wednesday and faxed it to Xinhua.

Yue told Carrefour in his extortion demand that he had placed explosive devices in three of the chain's stores in Kunming, which led to the emergency evacuations of customers and staff.

Realizing the gravity of the situation, Yue called Carrefour later in the day to abort the extortion bid.

Although the extortion was abandoned, Yue's behavior had a huge social impact and caused much disruption, and he deserved imprisonment, the court ruled.

A spokesman for the law office said the sentence was "a little heavier than expected" and they would talk with Yue about an appeal to a higher court.

The same outlet suffered another bomb hoax on Jan. 8, when a man claimed he placed bombs there and asked for 20,000 yuan.

No explosives were found in the outlet and police arrested the suspect later that day.

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