Threat to lace sweets with poison

Attempted extortion against Haribo and Kaufland

Gummibären von Haribo sind weltberühmt...

A 74-year-old man is accused of threatening to lace gummy bears from Haribo with cyanide.

Bonn. A 74-year-old man from Dortmund allegedly threatened to poison sweets with cyanide. The Bonn public prosecutor’s office would not give any details but confirmed that an investigation was taking place.

The Bonn public prosecutor’s office, in close cooperation with Bonn police headquarters, is investigating a case of extortion targeted at Haribo and Kaufland.  Spokesman for the prosecution office, Sebastian Buß confirmed the information to the General Anzeiger.  

For tactical reasons,  the spokesman was not able to provide any details of the allegations.  The public prosecutor’s office believes, however, that there was never a danger to customers of the company or the public. 

German regional broadcaster WDR first reported the case.  According to their research, a 74-year-old man from Dortmund threatened Haribo that he would poison their candy with cyanide if the company did not pay him one million euros.  He is also accused of making extortion threats against German market chain Kaufland, demanding one million euros from them as well.  

According to GA information, the man had sent off two letters with his demands.  As WDR reported, the pensioner is alleged to have purchased items from both Haribo and Kaufland, and labeled them with “Caution poison.”  Police had already been on his trail at that time and he was arrested on Christmas Eve.

According to the report, the man admitted to the extortion attempts.  His reasoning was “chronic money shortages.”