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Police arrested a teenager who put needles in strawberries in supermarkets

Australian police arrested a teenager who confessed that he was putting needles in strawberries in local supermarkets.

Фото: Depositphotos

Fruits with metal needles, sold in local stores, previously caused panic across the country, writes with the BBC.

According to Assistant Police Commissioner of the State of New South Wales Stewart Smith, the arrested guy most likely put the needles in strawberries for fun.

“We found a young man who confessed to a number of pranks, including putting needles into strawberries; it will be handled by youth services, ”Smith said.

The first cases of detecting needles in strawberries were recorded in Queensland. Then the fruits with needles began to fall across the inhabitants of other states. Buyers also reported sharp metal objects in bananas and apples.

The exact number of victims of needles in strawberries is still unknown, the authorities report at least a hundred complaints. These cases quickly sowed panic among both buyers and fruit producers.

The Queensland authorities said that some trading partners in Russia and Britain had already blocked imports of strawberries from Australia, and neighboring New Zealand announced its intention to withdraw all Australian strawberries from its supermarkets.

Some manufacturers were forced to destroy the entire crop of berries after reports of needles.

Australian authorities urgently introduced additional measures to control the export of strawberries: exporters are now obliged to pass all their goods through metal detectors.

Many Australian politicians and users of social networks actively spoke out in defense of the country's fruit industry. They urge buyers to support farmers and not to abandon the purchase of fruit, but be sure to cut them in half before eating.

The online campaign #SmashAStrawb was joined by the Prime Minister of Western Australia, Mark McGowan.

“Western Australians, support the national industry. Cut strawberries in half and eat to help our farmers, ”he wrote on his Twitter.

Twitter screenshot

"Coward and pathetic worm"

On Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the authorities intend to toughen penalties for damage to fruits. Now the maximum prison term for such a crime is 10 years, but now it has been proposed to increase it to 15 years.

New measures, which the parliament will consider already this week, are also directed against those who organize jokes and pranks that threaten the life and health of people.

“This is not a joke, this is not funny. You endanger the lives of hardworking Australians, you scare children. You are a coward and a pitiful worm, and if you do such things in this country, then we will come for you, ”Morrison said, addressing the perpetrators of such crimes.

Earlier, three Australian states announced a reward of 100 thousand Australian dollars (71,7 thousand US dollars) for information that may help in the investigation of this crime.

The annual turnover of the Australian strawberry market is estimated at 130 million Australian dollars (93 million US dollars). Most of the fruit is grown in Queensland, where about 150 strawberry producing companies operate.

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