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Czech police launch raids in search of deadly bootleg liquor

Published on Sep 16, 2012 7:11 AM

PRAGUE (AFP) - Czech police raided thousands of bars, restaurants and shops after methanol poisoning caused by bootleg spirits left 19 people dead and others seriously ill.

As 20 people remained in hospital, some in artificial comas or going blind, police said they checked over 19,000 premises overnight Friday to Saturday and seized "suspect" alcohol in 14 locations.

A health ministry analysis showed most of those affected had drunk one of two types of tainted liquor - vodka or a local rum dubbed "tuzemak".

Czech Health Minister Leos Heger on Friday placed a total ban on the sale of liquor with over 20 per cent alcohol following the deaths.

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