22 die from drinking adulterated alcohol in Iran

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TEHRAN, Sept 29, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – At least 22 people have died in Iran in
three separate incidents of poisoning by adulterated bootleg alcohol, the
semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.

Despite tough penalties in force for alcohol consumption since the Islamic
revolution of 1979, the consumption of smuggled or bootleg liquor remains
widespread.

Cheap moonshine is sometimes adulterated with toxic methanol in place of
ethanol, the alcohol found in properly distilled spirits.

The largest number of deaths was reported in the southern port city of
Bandar Abbas, where 16 people died according to ISNA.

“The number of people hospitalised due to alcohol poisoning has reached
168 so far,” it quoted provincial medical school spokeswoman Fatemeh
Norouzian as saying.

“Sixteen of them unfortunately lost their lives and eight are in critical
condition.”

Bandar Abbas police chief, Esmail Mashayekh, told ISNA that a married
couple had been arrested on suspicion of producing the liquor while the
suspected distributor was also detained.

ISNA reported three deaths in a separate incident in the northern province
of Alborz.

“Twenty-five people have been poisoned in the last 72 hours, three of whom
have already died,” it quoted provincial emergency medical services chief
Mehrdad Babayi as saying.

Babayi said 17 people remained in hospital, some of whom were not out of
danger.

In North Khorasan province in the northeast, 25 people were treated for
poisoning in the past 10 days of whom three died, police chief Alireza
Mazaheri told the official IRNA news agency.

Khorasan police raided an underground distillery suspected of producing
the adulterated liquor and made 31 arrests on Friday night, IRNA reported.

Those who break Iran’s alcohol laws can be fined, lashed or jailed.

Only members of state-recognised religious minorities have the right to
produce or purchase alcoholic drinks.

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