10 held over suspected alcohol poisoning deaths in Selangor

Shah Alam District Police chief Baharudin Mat Taib (right) and his deputy, Superintendent Nek Zaidi Zakaria, with two types of the illegal alcoholic drinks seized in raids in Selangor.
Shah Alam District Police chief Baharudin Mat Taib (right) and his deputy, Superintendent Nek Zaidi Zakaria, with two types of the illegal alcoholic drinks seized in raids in Selangor.PHOTO: BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR • Ten people, including seven foreigners, have been detained in connection with a suspected alcohol poisoning case in Selangor, police said yesterday .

Selangor police chief Mazlan Mansor told a press conference that 1,021 bottles of alcoholic beverages and 1,695 cans of beer were seized in 13 raids conducted so far.

He said those detained were three Nepalese, three Indian nationals, a Myanmar national and three Malaysians.

The suspects, aged between 19 and 48, have been remanded, he added.

As of yesterday, 22 people had died due to suspected alcohol poisoning in the Malaysian state, he said. "Another 22 are still being treated at various hospitals, while 14 have been discharged," he added.

The Health Ministry has received 69 notifications of suspected methanol poisoning from government health facilities from last Saturday to Thursday.

There have been nine poisoning cases in Kuala Lumpur while Perak has seen five cases.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said on Wednesday that several types of alcoholic drinks tested by the authorities contained methanol in higher proportions than authorised.

Drinks that were suspected to be the cause of alcohol poisoning are the Grand Royal Whisky, Mandalay Whisky, Joker Whisky and Kingfisher and Volcano beers.

Datuk Mazlan had said on Thursday that it was too early to tell if the seized alcohol had been tainted or altered.

Most of the victims had shown early signs of methanol poisoning, including stomach aches, nausea and vomiting, with some developing shortness of breath, cramps and sudden unconsciousness.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2018, with the headline '10 held over suspected alcohol poisoning deaths in Selangor'. Print Edition | Subscribe