Food companies threatened

Posion. Illustration Photo: Photo Liountmila Korelidou
By Reidar Molthe

26 April 2019 11:03

Food companies threatened

Food companies in nine European countries have received threat letters: Transfer 300,000 euros or get your goods poisoned.

A threat letter containing an unknown powder has been sent to several European food companies, including several Danish companies. The letter threatens that the companies will have their products poisoned in supermarkets if they do not transfer 300,000 euros in the bitcoin crypto currency.

Danish TV2 has confirmed that the Danish National Police is investigating several cases.

“I can state that we are investigating very intensely to get these offenders exposed. We do this both nationally and internationally in Europe, says Uffe Stormly”, police inspector at the National Police.

Started in Italy

The threat case possibly began in Italy where the companies Lavazza and Vergnano (coffee producers), the cake manufacturer Balocco and the chocolate manufacturer Ferrero received threat letters containing a green powder.

Language analyzes carried out by the Italian police have revealed that the threat letters have been sent from Ghent in Belgium.

Similar threat letters are also sent to companies in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, Germany, the UK and Sweden.

Findus exposed

At ten o'clock on Sunday morning (21 April), the police informed them that they found an envelope containing white powder in Findus’ headquarter in Sweden. The envelope has now been removed from the office, according to SVT.

“There has also been a written threat to the company,” says police officer Anders Engstörm to the website. According to the police, this is a form of blackmail. It is uncertain why the company has been threatened.

Findus Sverige AB is part of Nomad Foods Europe. On Sunday morning, the business confirmed that a threat has come, and that the office space is blocked. CEO of Findus, Peter Ødemark, writes in a press release:

«Nomad Foods can confirm that a threat has come against the company's Swedish business in Malmö. In order not to influence the police investigations, we will not comment in what form or in what way the threat has occurred. The company's premises are blocked off and when the business can start up again is a question for the police is to decide.”

Several Danish food producers are exposed

“When someone threatens food security, we take it seriously. But it is worth emphasizing that there is no one who has contaminated food in Denmark, so one should not be concerned as a consumer right now and here,” says Nikolas Hove, Emergency Manager at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

He calls the threats a police case.

“The substance is a natural toxin. It has a varying strength, and a good amount must be added to make you sick. Therefore, it is very difficult to say anything about the danger in it, but we take the matter seriously and are in close dialogue with the companies,” underlines Hove.

More News from FOOD