Toxic letter probe focuses on source of arsenic

Investigators collect data on off-counter sale of chemical powder

Naeem Asghar April 07, 2024


Investigation teams collected the data on sale and the overall market for the arsenic powder, as they widened the scale of their investigation into the toxic letter sent to the superior judiciary in recent weeks, sources said.

It was initially reported that anthrax-laced letters were sent to the judges of the Supreme Court, Islamabad High Court (IHC) and the Lahore High Court (LHC). However, it transpired in the investigation that the white powder in the letter contained arsenic.

Eight high court judges received the toxic letters on April 2, while the Supreme Court judges received similar letters on April 4 and 5. Investigation so far, revealed that the letters were filled with arsenic powder in a non-toxic quantity, according to a report sent to the interior ministry.

Two separate cases were registered and the investigation got underway by the Counter-Terror Department (CTD) of the police and other agencies. Sources said that the powder found in the letters was different from the arsenic powder that could be bought from the apothecaries.

Read also: Anthrax found in threatening letters: forensic report

According to the sources, investigation teams are visiting all these shops, where arsenic powder is sold for medicinal purposes and collecting data on the substance.

According to the sources, the letters were posted at the post offices in the Satellite Town in Rawalpindi and I-10/4 in Islamabad. The investigation teams visited the apothecaries in these areas and checked the records of the chemical powders including anthrax powder, and arsenic powder being sold in 15 to 20 days.

The CCTV footage and the names of the senders written on the letters had been sent to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the envelopes were sent to the experts for analysis of the ink and the writing. The postal stamp on the letter was also being analysed, the sources said.



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