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Police alerts issued after Toronto, Halton homes receive letters with powder claimed to be fentanyl

A Toronto Police Service cruiser. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Toronto police and Halton Regional Police have issued public alerts after several homes received a letter containing powder that the document says is fentanyl.

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In a statement released Friday evening, the Toronto Police Service reported receiving multiple calls on Friday from people who said they received personally addressed letters through the mall.

The statement said each letter contained a bag of white powder, which was claimed to be the powerful and deadly opioid.

Read more: Fentanyl contributed to hundreds of deaths in Canada so far this year

“The letter directs the person to deposit Bitcoin in exchange for their family’s well-being,” officers alleged.

“Investigators are cautioning the public to be vigilant when opening their mail. If you receive the above letter and substance, try not to handle it as much as possible.”

Earlier in the day, Halton police issued a similar public warning after residents received a letter with a QR code demanding payment.

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“Residents are advised that this is an extortion attempt are asked not to send any funds in relation to this letter,” it said, noting the powder in those letters was determined to be confectioners’ sugar.

Toronto police encouraged residents, if possible, to take the letter and envelope outside and cover the document under a garbage can or something else that will protect it from exposure.

If a letter is received, people were encouraged to call their local police service as soon as possible for it to be retrieved. Officers have been to several properties in south Etobicoke on Friday.

The substances found in the envelopes still need to be tested to confirm what the substance is. Officers haven’t confirmed if the powder is indeed fentanyl.

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