Mysterious envelope linked to scam office

Three Umbilo SAPS employees and two members of the public were admitted to Addington Hospital yesterday for medical observation and kept in isolation after being exposed to a chemical suspected to be a biological agent.

“The chemical is suspected to be Anthrax and the SAPS explosives unit are still conducting tests,” a Metro Police member told Journalism Iziko. The Umbilo SAPS police station received an envelope that exploded upon opening and scattered white powder over the office yesterday morning. Umbilo SAPS communications officer, Sergeant Beverley Manqele said the envelope, hand delivered by two men, was from an unknown sender and the intended recipient was the station commissioner, Colonel Gerald Mkhize.

The police station had to be temporarily shut down for decontamination and the SAPS employees who had come into contact with the envelope had to be sent to Addington Hospital for medical observation.

The envelope was traced back to an office on 261 Che Guevara (Moore) Road that belongs to a company called United Thermal Technology owned by Raymond Moodley. At around 17:00 yesterday Che Guevara Road was closed while the Chemical Removal Unit sterilized the offices of United Thermal Technology. The occupants of the office were not allowed out and no one was allowed in until the building and the occupants were sterilized.

This company sells geysers, energy saving devices and is also a recruitment agency for call centers. The company has been on the news recently for scamming people by selling defective geysers for more than R14 000 and an energy saving “device”, one you could get online for R10.45, for R2 200. The customers would thereafter have to pay R430 for the device over a period of three years before obtaining full ownership. The company maintains that these complaints are baseless.

The Witness recently reported that the company has been allegedly using Eskom’s name to gain easy access into prospective clients’ homes. After entering the home, the representative would then claim association with Eskom and use aggressive marketing techniques to convince clients to buy their products.

The company is popular amongst users, a consumer complaint website. After buying these devices, the customers could not be able to contact the company because the phone number and e-mail address they had been given were not attended to. “…this company has also sold me in line water heaters which do not work. 1.5months of trying to get hold of these guys, and even visiting their premises in Moore Road...and still no joy,” one complainant states on the website.

Tests are still being carried out on the powder from the envelope and there have been no arrests made yet. 

Dumisani Mthethwa 2014-08-14 03:29:11 PM
Oh dear Lord the South Africa we know! I happen to see the incident @ Moore though! I wonder what does this suggests about us as consumers! Why do we have to withstand such an explotiation? Are we becoming a passive society passive to crime?
Sthandwa Gwala 2014-08-14 03:30:58 PM
And your only a student??? Good job. A force to be reckoned with. Please do a follow up story as well.
Thabiso A Thwala 2014-08-14 04:26:45 PM
. . Mmh! Exploding envelopes in South Africa. Some 007 kinda stuff . .
Zinhle Sikhosana 2014-08-14 05:01:35 PM
It's very shocking to acknowledge that people have become capable of such sickening acts. There's too many fraud companies dealing with illegal features that cause harm to society physically and financially. The investigators should dig deeper to find out the cause of this purpose and also what they were trying to gain out of it.
Nonkululeko Nokwah Sikhosana 2014-08-14 05:06:52 PM
I thought that only happened in movies. This must be faught at all levels of society. P.S Great piece of work.
Dumisani Khabzela 2014-08-14 05:23:44 PM
It clear dat da ppl involved hv no tym to joke,,,ukuhlasela a police station aint just smting,,,,,smbody needs to get to da bottom of ds,,,,this is FBI c.rus
S'nokubonga Fuz'elihle Ngcobo 2014-08-14 08:10:44 PM
Evidently,that company is up to no good.Reading this has made me realise how negative exposure can be good for the public.I don't think its fair to have a business running @ its customers' loss.They are practically ripping people off and legal actions are in order.
Thah Nokthula Nyawose 2014-08-15 01:04:34 PM
How did that powder affect those SAPS employees
Laeeka Edries 2014-08-16 12:14:31 PM
First one to crack the story! Tip of the hat to you! A job well done