‘Potentially lethal substance mailed to people at risk of self-harm’:OPP

A package containing a potentially lethal substance sent by mail to people at risk of self-harm. Photos supplied by OPP.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is warning people about packages, containing a potentially lethal substance, which they say may have been sent to individuals at risk of self-harm in communities across Ontario.

According to OPP, the packages contain sodium nitrite, which was being sold online and distributed by mail.

Sodium nitrite is a white, crystalline substance used as a food additive and commonly found in processed meats. Intentional consumption of excessive amounts of this substance can reduce oxygen-levels, impair breathing and can result in death, OPP explained in an advisory.

OPP advised that if you or someone in your home has received a package from the businesses listed below, you should contact the OPP or your local police service immediately:

  • Imtime Cuisine
  • AmbuCA
  • Academic / ACademic
  • Escape Mode / escMode
  • ICemac

OPP’s ongoing investigation has found that packages may have been sent to more than a dozen communities across the province, as well as other parts of the world, the police service said.

“The OPP is calling on everyone to be vigilant of the online transactions and activity of family members and the arrival of any unexpected packages in the mail,” the advisory said.

OPP said that earlier on the evening of Tuesday, May 2, 2023, Peel Regional Police arrested a suspect believed to be responsible for providing this product.

According to Peel Regional Police, investigators arrested and charged 57-year-old Kenneth Law of Mississauga, Ontario, following an investigation into a sudden death, in which it is suspected that the chemical substance was consumed.

Peel Regional Police say the suspect has been charged with the following criminal code offences:

  • Counselling or aiding suicide x 2

Anyone with information or who has received a package you suspect may contain sodium nitrate, should contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

If you or anyone that you know is struggling with mental health and wellness, please call 1-833-456-4566 or visit talksuicide.ca.

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