Asia

China tycoon 'ate poisoned cat-meat stew'

  • 4 January 2012
  • From the section Asia
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Poisoned cat-meat stew is suspected to have been used to kill a billionaire in southern China.

Police have detained a local official in Guangdong province in connection with the sudden death of Long Liyuan on 23 December.

The official, Huang Guang, is suspected of adding a toxic plant to the stew at a restaurant where they were eating.

A police statement said the two were involved in a dispute after Mr Huang allegedly embezzled money from Mr Long.

Mr Huang, an agriculture official in Bajia, took Mr Long, who ran a forestry company, to visit a piece of woodland on 23 December, said the statement.

Afterwards, the two went to a local restaurant to share a local delicacy, slow-boiled cat-meat stew. A friend of Mr Long's was also present.

Mr Huang is alleged to have added the plant Gelsemium elegans to the cat-meat dish.

Local media say Mr Long was taken to hospital after feeling dizzy and sick, and later suffered a cardiac arrest.

However the other two diners survived.

A local newspaper reported that Mr Long's friend had eaten only a little because the dish tasted "more bitter" than usual.

Police initially detained the owner of the restaurant on suspicion of serving unsanitary food, AP news agency said.

However Mr Long's family did not believe it was a simple case of food poisoning and pressed police to investigate further as well as offering a $16,000 reward for information, the agency said.