World News

China jails man for Olympic bomb hoax

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A Chinese court has sentenced a Shanghai man to 18 months in prison for calling in a fake bomb threat during the Beijing Olympic Games in August, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Zeng Weigen called police three times on the evening of August 9, the day after the opening ceremony, saying there was a bomb in the Huating Hotel, which was accommodating Olympic football players at the time, Xinhua said in a report late on Wednesday.

Police searched the hotel until late that night and concluded it had been a hoax.

Zeng, arrested the next day, said he had made the calls “for fun after drinking,” Xinhua said.

Security was one of Beijing’s top priorities in hosting the Olympics, and authorities spared no efforts to ensure they would go off without a hitch.

There were at least two other bomb scares during the Games, including a threat on an Air China flight that forced it to turn back to Japan and two suspicious packages in Hong Kong that turned out to be hoaxes.

Writing by Jason Subler; Editing by Bill Tarrant