Woman poisoned by a business card soaked with the Colombian drug burundanga-Unproven!

Woman Poisoned By Crooks Using a Colombian Drug on a Business Card-Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:

The story of a woman who was allegedly approached at a gas station by a man saying he was a painter.  He handed her his business card.  When she drove away from the station, she noticed that the painter had gotten into a car driven by another person.  Later she started feeling dizzy and had a breathing problem.  She realized there was a strong odor coming from the card and also that the painter’s car was following her.  The woman eventually recovered but decided that there had been some kind of substance on the card that disabled her.  The writer of the email then speculates that the substance may have been a drug known as Burundanga.

The Truth:

We have not found any substantiation of this story, which has none of the kinds of details or facts that would lead to verification. 

Burundanga is a real drug that is well known in Colombia and a source of widespread concern.  Criminals in Colombia have been known to put the drug into food, gum, or drinks of people who, it is said, can go into a trance-like state in which they appear to be conscious but are powerless to resist orders.  Victims have been known to make bank withdrawals, participate in handing clothing, furniture, and other valuables over to thieves just because they were told to do it.

According to the sources we checked, however, Burundanga is described as being odorless and tasteless so would not have produced the strong odor described in the eRumor. 

We also didn’t find any incidents in which anyone has passed the drug to another person through simple touch, such as on a business card.

Updated 6/18/08