October 3, 2018 – Sepang, Malaysia
On September 18, 2018 SafeProof.org reported on a story out of Sungai Buloh, Malaysia concerning a rash of poisonous methanol laced liquor which hospitalized hundreds and killed 15 as of that date. Today, October 3rd, 2018, the official death toll reported by the Malaysian Government stands at 45, with many still hospitalized and dozens still hanging onto life in hospital ICU’s.
The Malaysian government quickly responded on September 21, 2018 raiding two grocery stores that were singled out by victims. Today, the Malaysian Government signaled that their hunt is not over as they announced that since the poisonings began they have executed 1,063 raids nationwide in a search for fake alcohol, its producers and distributors.
The investigation is being conducted by the Customs Department under the supervision of Director General Datuk Seri Subromaniam. The targeted operation code named “Ops Gemur” has arrested 129 actors while seizing 17,374 liters of suspected counterfeit liquor. Along with the originally suspected fake alcohol brands Grand Royal Whiskey, Kingfisher Extra and Mandalay, the Inspector General told reporters that more brands including Cap Kapak, Camel Strong, and Club 99 were included in the seizures.
While not directly linking this operation to the mid-September rash of poisonous alcohol it appears that it is the impetus for this Nationwide operation. “Investigations are also underway to determine if there is any evidence linking the seized alcohol to the recent spate of methanol poisoning,” he said. Adding that seized counterfeit alcohol processing equipment was sent to labs to determine the level of methanol contamination.
During the announcement the Inspector General disclosed that a raid was conducted on September 28th at a factory operating in Cheras. “Alcohol seized from the factory were the same brands with the ones that were linked to the methanol poisoning. But it’s too early to confirm if this syndicate was involved in making that particular liquor and investigations are underway,” he said.
The Inspector General went on to say that the illegal alcohol produced in the counterfeit liquor factory was produced largely for consumption by foreigners in the Country and sold at cheaper than retail prices.
The Customs Department has taken the lead in this investigation under Section 74 of the Excise Act (Act 176) 1976, for evasion of excise duty and illegal production as well as Section 6(1) of the Law Reform (Eradication of Illicit Samsu (Liquor)) 1976 (Act 165) for storing, using or allowing premises to be used to process illegal samsu (liquor).
The evaded taxes on the confiscated 17,374 liters of fake alcohol was estimated by the Custom Department at RM170,000 which equates to a bit over $40,000 USD.
The rash of methanol poisonings from counterfeit liquor in mid-September coupled with the direct statement from the Customs Agency that the fake poison liquor is produced to specifically target foreign consumers should serve as a warning that drinking alcohol in Malaysia may result in your death from methanol poisoning.
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