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Threatening packages sent to several famous restaraunts

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐), an internationally famous restaurant that specializes in xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), recently received a threatening letter packed with mealworms and ghost money.

The letter was sent in a standard envelope from Kaohsiung, and the name and address of the recipient were printed, not handwritten. Although the letter constitutes a threat, it did not contain any written message.

After the letter was received last Friday, the restaurant reported the incident to Daan Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department. The restaurant said it had not received any other threatening messages or phone calls over the past week, and the sender's intention is unclear at this point. The restaurant, however, has informed its employees to stay alert in the wake of the incident.

In a potentially related incident, Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), a famous singer, received a package containing the same material on the same day the restaurant did, leading police to speculate that the letters were sent by the same person or group. It was the third time that Hsiao received threatening letters over the past four months.

Tripod King (鼎王), another famous hot pot restaurant, was also the recipient of numerous threats and blackmail attempts over the past year, the restaurant's president Chen Shu-ming (陳世明) said.

It was reported in the media that Tripod King used artificial flavors in its stock instead of natural ingredients as claimed by the restaurant. Chen has refuted the report, which he said was probably initiated by the same party that issued the threats. Chen has offered an award of NT$5 million to those who catch the individual or group behind the threats.

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