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Man arrested for stealing sodium cyanide from Osaka laboratory

A 30-year-old graduate of Osaka Metropolitan University was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing sodium cyanide from a laboratory at the university’s Sugimoto campus in Osaka city.

According to Osaka Prefectural Police, the suspect admitted to the charges against him and said he stole the poisonous mixture to kill his father.

The man is suspected of stealing sodium cyanide from the laboratory of the public university’s technical school in early August 2023. The police have not yet found the stolen substance.

After enrolling in the university’s graduate school in April 2022, the suspect completed his studies in March this year. He works at a pharmaceutical company.

The man admitted to stealing the substance by putting the contents of a bottle of sodium cyanide in a bag while he was still at school. However, he said he threw the substance away without using it on anyone.

None of his family members felt unwell, according to police.

On May 16, the university announced that a bottle of potassium cyanide and a bottle of sodium cyanide, enough to kill a total of about 160 to 250 people, had disappeared from the laboratory. The university suspected that the bottles may have been stolen and reported the theft to the Osaka police on May 17.

The man told police he also threw away the two bottles that were reported stolen by the university.

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