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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Extortionist Apprehended In Yakutsk

A man who threatened to blow up a Siberian city's heating plants was arrested after police decided his extortion was a bluff, officials said Monday.

Last Friday, the man demanded $500,000 and 500 million rubles ($320,000) to leave Yakutsk in peace.

He claimed to represent a gang called Vozmezdie, meaning "retribution," and said bombs had been planted at facilities across the city of 200,000 people, including its heating plants.

Amid sub-zero temperatures, destroying the plants would have endangered thousands in the Siberian city.

The extortionist was arrested Sunday after police searched the city and found no bombs, Itar-Tass and Interfax reported. They identified the extortionist only by his last name, Abdulayev, and said he was 35, unemployed and had a long criminal record.