"Bomb extortionist" sentenced to seven years jail term



Beijing: A man who tried to extort USD 45,630 from a French retail giant Carrefour in a south-west Chinese town with a bomb threat 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 (USD 45,630) on June 19 last year, state run Xinhua news agency reported.

He was arrested the same day.

Yue in his extortion demand said 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.

The sentence was handed at the Panlong District Court in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

Realising 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 January 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.

PTI