toronto police

Someone was sending icing sugar to people in Toronto and claiming it was fentanyl

Several residents across the Toronto area have received suspicious packages containing a mysterious white powder in recent days, spawning an investigation from multiple local police forces.

An unconfirmed number of people in Etobicoke, Burlington and other communities received the mailings containing personally-addressed letters and small baggies of the dubious product, which the sender claimed in writing to be the dangerous opioid fentanyl.

The recipients were instructed to deposit Bitcoin "in exchange for their family's wellbeing," Toronto Police Service (TPS) and Peel Regional Police (PRP) said in respective statements on the matter.

But, authorities have since tested and identified the enclosed substance as something far less menacing: icing sugar.

PRP confirmed in a release and to blogTO on Tuesday that the stuff was indeed established to be the harmless pantry ingredient, though the public is being reminded to be cautious when opening any mail from an unknown origin.

"If you receive a letter and substance, do your best not to handle it as much as possible," they suggest. "Place the envelope and its contents outside, preferably covered to keep it protected and contact police."

It was after the 2001 anthrax attacks and the many copycats since that the general population really became mindful of the potential dangers of opening random letters sent to them.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his wife were some of the latest targets of a dodgy package full of white powder earlier this year, which was thankfully also proven to be innocuous.

Such incidents still leave one to wonder why someone would bother going around sending such mailings, aside from wanting to give people a scare.

Perhaps this latest matter, though, is a little less nefarious — it is gingerbread decorating season after all.

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