June 29, 2018 – Dhanusha, India

According to local police in Dhanusha, 10 people were overcome by alcohol poisoning after consuming liquor purchased from various shops in the Lakkad area of Kamala Municipality. Police announced that six of the victims died from alcohol poisoning after consuming the spurious liquor. The named deceased ranged in age from 38 – 52 years old. Four other victims were still being treated at various hospitals in Dhanusha and Siraha.

Local lawmakers made strong statements condemning the sale of toxic alcohol and reiterating that enforcement needs to be stepped up to prevent tragedies like this from occurring. While the politicians were making public statements about the spurious liquor, local police were making anonymous statements about the source of the toxic liquor.

Police sources said that there are two illegal breweries operating in Pokhariya that are allegedly operated in collusion with local police and politicians. It is believed throughout the Lakkad district that most shops buy their liquor from the Pokhariya sources. Police meanwhile stated that these two breweries besides being the supplier for Kamala, they are the main distributor in Bideha, and Janaknandani as well as smaller villages throughout the region.

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Inconclusive tests point to a high concentration of methanol as being the toxic agent in the spurious liquor. As in other Asian Nations, India fights an uphill battle against spurious liquor, when counterfeiters are protected by, or are partnered with police and local political machines. The amount of money made with spurious liquor productions dwarfs the amount of money dedicated to alcohol enforcement in these countries.

Police did not name the specific spurious liquor that was consumed by the victims, however local residents said that most if not all brands are counterfeited by the illegal breweries in Pokhariya and that the price is a major factor in the acceptance of this spurious liquor.

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