German police are treating a suspicious package discovered in Potsdam and filled with nails, as an extortion case.
The parcel was destroyed in a controlled explosion, but experts were able to piece together the QR Code. It contained an embedded message warning the DHL delivery company that it will have to deal with further packages like that one unless it pays a sum “in the millions of euros.”
The parcel was delivered to a pharmacy near the Christmas market in the eastern city. It is now thought to have been more dangerous than initially thought. An employee said a loud hissing sound could be heard when the box was opened.
Investigators say the suspect package is linked to a similar delivery made in November in Frankfurt an der Oder, a town around an hour to the east. That parcel was combustible and burned.
While the inquiry appears to point to small businesses being targeted, police say they are not ruling out the possibility of packages being sent to individual recipients.
They’ve issued warnings to the public to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.
Germany is on a heightened terror alert. Almost a year ago, 12 people were killed in an Islamist attack on a Christmas market in the capital.