Premix coffee that causes consumers to fall ill may have been tampered with: Malaysian police

The coffee sachets consumed by at least five persons who became ill were believed to have been tampered with. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian police say substances believed to be drugs were found in samples of the premix coffee that caused a controversy here earlier this week after several people fell ill after drinking the beverage.

The coffee sachets consumed by at least five persons who became ill were believed to have been tampered with.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Anuar Omar, who revealed this on Friday (Feb 2), said the substances were found in the samples of the premix coffee consumed by two Nepalese security guards.

"Checks showed that the sachets were opened and resealed as signs of tearing were found at the bottom.

"The resealed sachets also weighed 10g more than its original weight of 40g. There was a green substance inside which is different from the original," he said in a statement.

He said the lab tests compared the coffee consumed by the Nepalese men to the original product from the factory.

"Results showed differences in weight, mixture and packaging.

"They suspect that a type of drug, which has yet to be identified, was added into the premix coffee," he said.

ACP Anuar said police were investigating the case under Section 272 of the Penal Code for adulteration of food or drinks intended for sale.

Penang Health Department director Dr Wan Mansor Hamzah said five patients received treatment at Penang Hospital between Jan 27 and Jan 30 after consuming premix durian coffee.

The victims, who included the two Nepalese guards, were warded with severe fatigue after drinking the coffee.

The coffee company involved, My Cafe Marketing and Trading Sdn Bhd, said it appointed Acumen Scientific Sdn Bhd to run lab tests on the tampered product.

In a statement on Friday, the company said that one of its employees received a call from a woman who complained that she was unwell after drinking the coffee on Monday.

"We visited her and she told us that the coffee was given to her at a temple. She told us her friend also suffered from the same symptoms after drinking the coffee," My Cafe said.

The company has since lodged a police report and also got in touch with the Health Ministry.

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