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Gambling addict in hot water over fire threat

AN online gaming addict has been arrested for arson after threatening to set himself on fire in a bid to cover about 800,000 yuan (US$121,500) in debts from his online losses, prosecutors said yesterday.

The suspect surnamed Xu, a Hubei native working in Henan, started playing an online card game in July last year.

He spent more than 700,000 yuan, including a 150,000-yuan overdraft on his credit cards and 200,000 yuan from loan shark.

To cover his debts, Xu decided to demand money from the computer game company. He drove to Shanghai on August 13, according to the Putuo District People’s Procuratorate. Next morning, he went to the company’s headquarters and entered the office carrying a hammer and a container of gas.

“I lost 800,000 yuan,” he shouted. “I drove 3,000 kilometers here just hoping to get my money back!” Xu poured the gas on his body and took out a lighter, threatening to set himself on fire. “I just wanted to scare them,” Xu told police later.

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