Inspired by a Turkish film, Chinese woman tries to make a bomb to rob a bank

Former fast-food cashier jailed after police finds 32 pages of elaborate notes detailing her plans

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 May, 2018, 2:52pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 May, 2018, 6:09pm

A woman who tried to make a bomb as part of a plan to rob a bank in eastern China has been sentenced to 10 months in prison, according to a local newspaper.

The 25-year-old, referred to only as Xiaoyue, admitted in court that she had been planning the heist for several months, and had been inspired by a foreign film, Qianjiang Evening News reported on Thursday.

“I went to see the bank twice,” she was quoted as saying. “The first time I looked at the inside and surrounding areas, and the second time I looked at the security guards and counter staff.”

Her plans to steal 1 million yuan (US$157,000) were detailed in 32 pages of notes police found at her home when they arrested Xiaoyue in September.

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The report did not say what led police to the property, only that they seized about 1,000 yuan worth of bomb-making materials and equipment – including welding devices, wire and sandpaper – which she had bought online.

As well as explaining the process of making an explosive device, the notes included information about the positioning of the security cameras, the arrival times of armoured cars, staff positions and how long it took to get to the bank from a nearby internet cafe.

At her trial in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, on Wednesday, Xiaoyue said she selected the bank as it was the one furthest from the local police station.

Originally from the eastern China province of Jiangxi, Xiaoyue has only a primary school education and used to work as a cashier in a fast-food restaurant, the report said.

In court she said she began researching how to make explosives in July after watching the 2015 Turkish film Frenzy, about a police informant who was professionally trained to detect bomb-making equipment.

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The notes revealed Xiaoyue intended to rob the bank in August, but she said in court that she had to postpone as she had not mastered the bomb-making process. The report did not explain how she planned to use the explosives.

The court found Xiaoyue guilty of attempting to make a bomb, but handed down a relatively lenient sentence as she suffered from mental illness, the report said, without elaborating.