KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A total of 10 people including seven foreigners have been detained in connection with a suspected alcohol poisoning case in Selangor, police said.
Selangor police chief Mazlan Mansor on Friday (Sept 21) said 1,021 bottles of alcoholic beverages and 1,695 beer cans were seized in 13 raids that have been conducted so far.
He said at a press conference: "Those detained are three Nepalese, three Indian nationals, a Myanmar national and three Malaysians.
"We are investigating under Section 135(1)(D) of the Customs Act 1967."
The suspects, aged between 19 and 48, have been remanded, he added.
As of Friday, 22 people had died due to suspected alcohol poisoning in the state, he said.
"Another 22 are still being treated at various hospitals while 14 have been discharged."
The Health Ministry has received 69 notifications of suspected methanol poisoning from government health facilities from Saturday to Thursday.
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said on Wednesday 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 were the Grand Royal Whisky, Mandalay Whisky, Joker Whisky and Kingfisher and Volcano beers.
Datuk Mazlan had said on Thursday it was still too early to tell if the seized alcohol had indeed been tainted or altered.
Besides the five cases from Perak, Selangor has a total of 55 cases while there have been nine cases in Kuala Lumpur.
Most of the victims had shown early signs of methanol poisoning, including stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, headaches and blurred vision with some developing shortness of breath, cramps and sudden unconsciousness.