Metro bomb hoaxer jailed for 18 months

A man who shouted a bomb threat on a Shanghai Metro train and caused a panic among passengers was sentenced to a year and six months in prison for a hoax terrorism alert, Zhabei District People’s Court ruled yesterday.

Prosecutors said Zheng Jianqiu, 32, repeatedly shouted “There is a bomb” and told passengers to run as the Line 2 train pulled into the Nanjing Road W. Station around noon on July 6.

The hoax sparked chaos on the eight-carriage train as frightened passengers banged on doors and windows to be let out, the court heard.

Zheng said he caused the alarm to escape Liu Qing, a real estate broker who was chasing him. “I thought he would kill me,” Zheng told the court.

According to prosecutors, Zheng planned to sell his apartment, mortgaging the ownership certificate to Liu and receiving a deposit from him.

When Liu and Zheng went to a bank to deal with loan procedures, Zheng had second thoughts, took the certificate back and left.

Zheng said Liu chased him and grabbed his neck. “I started to run,” he said.

He ran into the Jing’an Temple Metro station but Liu followed him onto a train.

Prosecutors said the pair were arguing on the train when Zheng suddenly stood up, pointed at Liu’s suitcase and claimed there was a bomb in it.

Zheng escaped as the crowd started to flee from the “bomb.” He took a taxi to the bus station and fled to Taixing in neighboring Jiangsu Province. He was detained by police the next day.