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The World : Cyprus Extortion Plot Told

May 15, 1987

Anti-terrorist police have arrested four people in London in connection with an extortion threat to release a deadly gas over the island of Cyprus, and more arrests are expected, the Cypriot government said. The blackmailers threatened to release deadly dioxin gas over the capital of Nicosia unless they were given $15 million, officials said. In London, Scotland Yard said that three men and a woman were arrested after a six-week investigation at Cyprus' request. Dioxin, said to be 1,000 times more toxic than cyanide, polluted thousands of acres and left hundreds of families homeless when it was released in an explosion at Seveso, Italy, in 1976.

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