Sus­pects held af­ter Pak­istan al­co­hol poi­son­ing kills 34

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Pak­istani po­lice yes­ter­day caught three men ac­cused of pre­par­ing home­made liquor mixed with af­ter­shave that killed 34 peo­ple in­clud­ing a fourth sus­pect af­ter they con­sumed the toxic brew on Christ­mas Eve. More than a hun­dred peo­ple were also sick­ened in the in­ci­dent, one of the coun­try’s dead­li­est cases of mass al­co­hol poi­son­ing, which hap­pened in a Chris­tian neigh­bor­hood in the town of Toba Tek Singh some 340 kilome­ters south of Is­lam­abad. “Four peo­ple have been iden­ti­fied who pre­pared and dis­trib­uted the toxic liquor,” se­nior po­lice of­fi­cial Atif Im­ran, who is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case, told AFP, adding the group had also con­sumed the al­co­hol them­selves. “One of them died be­cause of the liquor, two oth­ers are in crit­i­cal con­di­tion while the fourth is in po­lice cus­tody,” he added. The sus­pect in po­lice cus­tody had con­fessed to pre­par­ing the brew by mix­ing it with 20 liters of af­ter­shave and other chem­i­cals. The de­vel­op­ment was con­firmed by another se­nior po­lice of­fi­cial Us­man Akram Gon­dal. Though le­gal brew­eries ex­ist in Pak­istan, al­co­hol sales and con­sump­tion are banned for Mus­lims and tightly reg­u­lated for mi­nori­ties and for­eign­ers.

While wealthy Pak­ista­nis buy for­eign al­co­hol on the black mar­ket at heav­ily in­flated prices, the poor of­ten re­sort to home brews that can con­tain methanol, com­monly used in anti-freeze and fuel. Eleven Chris­tians died in Oc­to­ber af­ter con­sum­ing toxic liquor at a party in Pun­jab prov­ince. In Oc­to­ber 2014 29 drinkers were killed af­ter con­sum­ing methanol-tainted liquor over the Eid pub­lic hol­i­days.

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