Police investigating after letters containing white powder delivered to Toronto, Burlington residents
TORONTO -- Toronto and Halton police are investigating after numerous residents received suspicious extortion letters containing packages with white powder in the mail.
Residents in both south Etobicoke and Burlington, Ont. have reported receiving these fraudulent letters, according to police.
Toronto police Const. Alex Li told CP24 that several people received letters specifically addressed to them that were delivered to their homes by mail from an unknown sender.
Halton police said it is believed that the letters were delivered by Canada Post in the morning hours of Dec. 18.
The letters included a small bag containing a white powder claimed to be fentanyl, police said.
Halton police said after initial analysis the powder appears to be confectioner's sugar.
People who received the letters were also ordered to deposit Bitcoin “in exchange for their family’s wellbeing,” Toronto police said.
"The letters included threats to life and demanded that recipients send funds or harm would come to them and/or their families (possibly by way of fentanyl poisoning)," reads a statement from Halton police.
Li said residents who receive the letters are encouraged not to handle them as much as reasonably possible.
“Our experts and our investigators are appealing to members of the public who are in receipt of these packages and these letters to try as much as possible not to handle these letters, to bring them outside, take some type of garbage can or lid and put it all over the top of that letter to protect it from the elements and to notify the police immediately,” he said.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact them or Crime Stoppers anonymously.