I know that sometimes we mean well when we send out alerts and warning messages to our family and friends. In fact, this morning alone, I received a few emails with the same message, which read "Be Alert and Cautious when you are given a name card by a total stranger on the street". The email message continued to tell a story of how a lady who was handed a name card by this stranger at a petrol station, offering his services as a painter and as the woman was being polite, just took the card with her and left in her car after she has finished filling in the petrol. The story went on to say that the lady started feeling dizzy and the source of it came from some ordour that was coming from the hand which held the business card. Apparently, there was a drug wiped over the business card and the drug is called Burundanga".
In the past, when I received such type of mails, my first reaction was to forward it out to my family and my friends immediately. But having been told by some of these friends that the mails which I sent out are not true, these days, I do try to do a little checking first.
My checks on this claim has revealed several things.
1) Definition: Burundanga is a drug made from the plant called either cacao sabanero or borrachero. It is used to drug unsuspecting tourists in order to rob them. This was taken from About.com - South America Travel
2) From a medical source: Scopolamine can be used as a pre-surgical drug for the purpose of impairing memory of surgical trauma. It provides an initial knockout effect, before the anesthesia proper is administered, and has the added benefit of preventing long term memory formation during the period of time. At one time scopolamine was given to women during childbirth. This was taken from earthops. There was an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal Article dated July3, 1995 which tells of how people in Columbia have been drugged and have lost their precious belongings and money to unscrupulous people using that drug. The article is here.
3) From snopes.com, the claim that criminals used Burundanga-soaked business cards to incapacitate victims is FALSE. They have an example of the similar emails which I received except the mail which I received, the woman has no name, the place where it apparently occurred was also not identified. One of the mails which I received read like this....
Must Read and Please be careful out there. A man came over and offeredhis services as a painter to a female putting gas in her car and left his card. She said no ,but accepted his card out of kindness and got in the car.The man then got into a car driven by another gentleman. As the lady left the service station, she saw the men following her out of the station at the same time. Almost immediately, she started to feel dizzy and could not catch her breath. She tried to open the window and realized that the odor was on her hand; the same hand which accepted the card from the gentleman at the gas station. She then noticed the men wereimmediately behind her and she felt she needed to do something at that moment. She drove into the first driveway and began to honk her horn repeatedly to ask for help.The men drove away but the lady still felt pretty bad for severalminutes after she could finally catch her breath. Apparently,there was a substance on the card that could have seriously injured her. This drug is called 'BURUNDANGA'and it is used by people who wish to incapacitate a victim in orderto steal from or take advantage of them. This drug is four times more dangerous than the date rape drug and is transferable on simple cards. So take heed and make sureyou don't accept cards at any given time alone or from someone on the streets. This applies to those making house calls and slipping you a card when they offer their services . PLEASE SEND THIS E-MAILALERT TO EVERY FEMALE YOU KNOW
I suppose we just have to remember, however much we want to save our family and friends from danger, we should do a little bit of checking first before we scare them silly. What do you think?