Handling and Processing Mail Safely

Introduction

Staff may handle a large number of inbound mails in the daily operation. If there is a concern that a suspicious package has been received, sensible steps can be taken to minimise the risk of exposure and the possibility of harm. The overall message is to remain calm.

What are suspicious packages?

The following are some items that can trigger suspicion:

  • Discolouration, crystals or surface, strange odours or oily stains
  • Envelope with powder or powder-like residue
  • Ticking sounds, protruding wires, or exposed aluminium foil
  • Excessive tape or string
  • Unusual size or weight given size
  • Lopsided or oddly-shaped envelope
  • Postmark that does not match return address
  • Restrictive endorsements such as “Personal” or “Confidential”, or “Do Not X-ray”
  • Excessive postage
  • Handwritten, block-printed or poorly-typed addresses
  • Incorrect titles or titles with no name
  • Misspellings of common words
  • No return address or strange return address
  • Addressed to individual no longer with organisation

Handling procedures on campus

If you believe you have received a suspicious package

  • Stay calm
  • Do not open the letter or package, do not shake it, do not show it to others, or empty its contents
  • Leave the letter or package where it is or gently place it on the nearest flat ground surface. If possible, cover it gently with an empty photocopy paper box, a trash can, etc.
  • Switch off fans and air conditioning system that may circulate the material
  • Ask unrelated staff to leave the area
  • Do not use cell phone at the screen.
  • Call the 24-hour Security Hotline at 3442 8888 to report the case
  • Do not distribute any data and photo of the case via electronic media to outsiders or other staff
  • Leave and close the door to the area containing the suspicious letter or package. Stay in the vicinity to wait for FMO staff to arrive
  • To prevent spreading any powder or hazardous substance to your face, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water

Trivial Facts

  1. Is anthrax really lethal?
    1. Anthrax can be found naturally in soil (especially agricultural regions) and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world.
    2. Anthrax is not contagious, which means you can’t catch it like the cold or flu.
    3. People get infected with anthrax when spores get into the body. When anthrax spores get inside the body, they can be “activated.” When they become active, the bacteria can multiply, spread out in the body, produce toxins (poisons), and cause severe illness.
    4. Anthrax can be treated with antibiotics.
    5. Isolated cases are not uncommon in Hong Kong. A total of four reported cases since 1982, with two fatalities.
  2. Offences likely committed by the sender
    1. Administrating Poison, Attempting to Administer Poison, Sending Letter or Wounding with intent to murder under Section 10, 13 and 15, Offences against the Person Ordinance (Cap. 212), Laws of Hong Kong.
    2. Criminal Intimidation under Section 24, Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 200), Laws of Hong Kong.

導言

城大職員每日須要處理大量寄入的郵件。若對寄入的郵件有所懷疑,我們要採取合理的手段去減低爆炸及導致受傷的可能性,整體而言,就要保持鎮定。

什麼是可疑的郵件 ?

若出現下列情況就要提高警誡 :

  • 外觀出現變色、水晶狀、怪異氣味及油跡 ;
  • 信封上有粉末及粉末的殘留物 ;
  • 有 “啲嗒” 的聲音出現、有電線及錫紙外露 ;
  • 用過多的索帶及繩索包裹 ;
  • 有不尋常的體積及重量 ;
  • 不對稱及外觀特殊的郵件 ;
  • 郵戳及回郵地址不吻合 ;
  • 有限制性的提示,例如 “個人開啟” “機密” 及 “不可進行X光檢測” ;
  • 貼上過量的郵資 ;
  • 手寫僵化的字體或印刷奇特的收信人地址 ;
  • 錯誤的職銜或只有職銜而沒有收信人資料 ;
  • 串字有錯,書寫有誤 ;
  • 沒有回郵地址或回郵地址可疑 ;
  • 寄予個別人名但該人已離開該機構。

校園內的處理步驟

假如你自覺接觸到可疑的郵件 :

  • 保持鎮定
  • 不要打開、搖動或𠝹開該郵件,亦不必向別人展示 ;
  • 將該郵件輕輕放在附近的平坦的地面上,可能的話用一個影印紙箱或空箱覆蓋或盛載 ;
  • 關閉戶內風扇或冷氣機,減低空氣的流動 ;
  • 要求涉案以外的職員離開 ;
  • 現場不可以再用手機 ;
  • 致電24小時運作的保安室,內線8888 ;
  • 不可以用電子媒體將相片或事件資料外傳予其他人士,例如WhatsApp ;
  • 安頓好有可疑郵件後,離開該處在外圍等候FMO職員到達 ;
  • 若有接觸,當事人用清水及肥皂清洗雙手。

額外資訊

  1. 炭疽是致命的感染嗎 ?
    1. 炭疽通常在農業地區的泥土中存活而且可以感染家畜及野生動物 ;
    2. 炭疽並非高度傳染性的感染,不可能類似傷風感冒般的傳播 ;
    3. 要由炭疽孢子傳播,要孢子進入身體才能繁殖及衍生毒素危害宿主 ;
    4. 炭疽可用抗生素治療 ;
    5. 炭疽在香港間中出現,自1982年出現過4宗個案只有兩宗致命.
  2. 寄信者可能幹犯罪名 :
    1. 意圖謀殺,管理毒藥或傷人 (Section 10) ; 意圖謀殺,試圖施行毒案 (Section 13) ; 發送信件,威脅謀殺 (Section 15) ; 侵害人身罪條例,香港法例212章
    2. 刑事恐嚇 (Section 24) 刑事法例,香港法例200章