Japanese Firms Get Envelopes With Substance Suspected to Be Cyanide - Reports

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TOKYO (Sputnik) - Nine Japanese companies have received envelopes containing typewritten messages with threats and white powder that appears to be highly toxic potassium cyanide, the NHK broadcaster reported.

The broadcaster reported late on Saturday that most of the envelopes, postmarked Tokyo, had been delivered to companies based in Tokyo and Osaka, including two pharmaceutical firms, and one suspicious envelope had been received by a food company in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo.

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The police have already launched an investigation into the case, and discovered that white powder in at least some of the envelopes was proven to be deadly potassium cyanide, the broadcaster added.

Moreover, one of the messages demanded that the addressee pays 35 million won (over $31,200) in Bitcoin, otherwise threatening to spread cyanide-filled products.

The drug companies said that similar letters had been delivered to them last year and the police are trying to determine whether the two cases might be linked.

READ MORE: Former Bosnian Croat Commander Praljak Died From Cyanide Poisoning

The broadcaster also noted that the name of a senior member of the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo (banned in Russia) is reported to have been mentioned on some of the letters.

Aum Shinrikyo, notorious for its 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack, has been designated a terrorist organization and outlawed in some countries, including Russia.

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