Four tried in south China in food poisoning scam
Posted: 21 October 2008 1653 hrs

Source of Article:

BEIJING: Four men have gone on trial in south China's Shenzhen city for allegedly poisoning food at a snack bar in an incident that killed two people and left 63 others ill, state media said Tuesday.

One of the four, Zhang Zhenhua, a manager from Hong Kong-listed IT parts firm BYD, allegedly ended up sickening some of his own colleagues when plotting to add poison to food served at the bar, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Zhang had been hired by the owner of another Shenzhen food shop who had seen his businesses falter because of the popularity of the marketplace where the targeted snack bar was located, according to the agency.

In return for closing down the marketplace "by all means", Zhang was offered 500,000 yuan (73,000 dollars) in rental fee discounts, it said.

Zhang, the owner of the rival shop and two other people allegedly conspired to lace the snack bar's food with the poisonous chemical sodium nitrate, claiming they thought it would only cause diarrhoea.

Instead, 65 customers fell ill, with most of the victims identified as staff with BYD, a maker of batteries and IT parts, according to the agency.

One of the four was quoted as saying he used the Internet search engine Google to find a store where he could buy the chemical.

"I should have Googled what it was as well," he said.

The four were tried on Monday but no verdict was reached, the report said.

- AFP/yt




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