TAIPEI (AFP) – A Taiwanese man has been arrested on suspicion of sending threatening letters containing live mealworms and ceremonial money — traditionally used in rituals for the dead — to local celebrities, police said Wednesday.
The case was first reported last month when a record company received a letter addressed to pop singer Jam Hsiao which contained a bag of crawling worms and similar letters were also mailed to a well-known lawyer, an entertainment industry agent and a chain restaurant.
The suspect, identified only by his family Lai, was apprehended late Tuesday in Kaohsiung City, after police interviewed aquariums and bird shops selling the yellow mealworm used in the threat letters to track him down.
According to the police, Lai admitted that he sent the worms and the ceremonial money to celebrities in a bid to gain attention, because he was upset that his girlfriend was prosecuted for violating trademark law.
In Taiwan, ceremonial paper money is usually burnt in rituals to pay respect to the deceased but it is also used to lay a curse and make death threats.