Four tried in south China in food poisoning scam
21 October 2008 1653 hrs
Source of Article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/384327/1/.html
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.