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Japan's poison-candy gang declares New Year's truce

Japan's poison-candy gang declared a New Year's truce Monday, saying it had extracted a $400,000 ransom from one of its corporate victims, Kyodo News Service reported. Police would not confirm or deny the report.

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Thousands of police have spent months trying to catch the extortion gang calling itself ''the Man with 21 Faces.'' Food and candy manufacturers have received threats that their products on store shelves would be laced with cyanide unless they handed over a ranson.

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