Potsdam (dpa) – in the middle of the important christmas business, the parcel service DHL is being blackmailed. The dangerous package sent to a pharmacy at the potsdam christmas market on friday is connected to this, said brandenburg’s interior minister karl-heinz schroter (SPD).
Schroter spoke of a "letter bomb. The perpetrator or perpetrators demanded a million dollar sum. A similar delivery had already turned up at the beginning of november in frankfurt (or) with an online trader.
The perpetrator or perpetrators took the most serious injuries of the addressees or even their deaths approvingly into account, warned schroter. According to previous findings, it appears to be regional offenders from berlin or brandenburg. Further details were not given for the time being for tactical reasons of the investigation.
Police president hans-jurgen morke said the pharmacist heard a hiss when he opened the door. At first it was said that the package probably did not have any tinder. In the meantime, however, the explosive device has been analyzed again, said morke.
The security authorities consider further broadcasts possible or even probable, as morke further explained. A message had been enclosed with the potsdam transmission. This had been encrypted as a so-called QR code on the internet, but had been clearly reconstructed, said police president hans-jurgen morke.
So far, mainly small companies have been affected. Also the transmission to private persons was not to be excluded, however, it hieb. "Whoever gets a striking package delivered, do not open it, because that could cause the draw," warned interior minister schroter. Clues include unknown senders, spelling mistakes and wires sticking out of the package, said police, who also set up a telephone hotline.
DHL is being investigated for attempted explosion of explosives and attempted aggravated extortion, said senior prosecutor heinrich junker of potsdam.
According to investigators, a similar package had already been sent to an online dealer in frankfurt (oder) in early november. This had caught fire when it was opened, said police chief morke. This burned the blackmail letter. But in the potsdam broadcast, reference was made to the first act. It had been delivered to a parcel station in the state capital on thursday morning.
According to investigations so far, the packages contained, among other things, nails, screws and so-called polenboller. This is the colloquial term for fireworks that are illegal in germany due to safety deficiencies.
The crime was particularly reprehensible, said minister schroter. It is almost certain that the delivery of the "letter bomb" was not intended for the christmas market, he said.
According to schroter, the extortion is reminiscent of the "scrooge" case. The department store extortionist had played a cat-and-mouse game with the police, especially in the early 1990s, before he was caught. "I hope we will be successful sooner", said schroter. The "scrooge" case is considered one of the most elaborate extortion traps in german criminal history.
For the potsdam manhunt, the police set up an investigation group called "luise" – named after the pharmacy to which the package had been sent. Around 25 criminologists work in the group.