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.