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Police arrest man for sending clients toy bombs as 'gifts'

(Global Times)

08:46, June 06, 2013

Police have arrested a man who sent 60 toy bombs as misguided Children's Day gifts to his clients in Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing, and he may face a jail term, Nanjing police said Wednesday.

The 32-year-old suspect, surnamed Liu, has his own creative design agency, and apparently did not realize that the toy bombs he intended as a joke would terrify the recipients and lead to large-scale evacuations.

He will be charged with spreading false, dangerous substances, an officer surnamed Yang from Nanjing police told the Global Times.

"Liu was first implicated in a bomb hoax in Nanjing's Xuanwu district. He was arrested in Shanghai on Monday night, and has been transferred to Xuanwu police," said Yang.

Xuanwu police received a call from a local magazine called Youth on Monday alleging that they had received a bomb. The police sent several bomb squad officers and evacuated hundreds of residents near the magazine's office before they found out it was a joke that had gone too far.

Liu confessed he bought 60 fake bombs online and sent 59 of them to his clients on June 2 as gifts, including seven in Beijing, one in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, and 51 in Shanghai, said Yang.

But on Tuesday, when Liu was already in custody, Beijing Sanlian Life Weekly received one of his fake bombs, triggering a large evacuation, with 30 police officers responding.

"We were trying to make contact with Shanghai and Beijing to inform the local police when Sanlian Life Weekly found the bomb," Yang said.

Liu apologized for his rash actions after he was arrested, and said that he did not imagine the consequences would be so far-reaching.

"His original intentions are key in this case. If Liu didn't intend to scare people, he won't receive a severe punishment. He could get up to five years in jail or a suspended sentence," said lawyer Niu Xingli, from the Beijing-based Yixing Law Firm.

"Police are making every effort to find out the Internet merchant who sold the toy bombs," Yang noted.

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