Bootleg booze death toll hits 12 in Istanbul
Source: The Spirits Business
by Melita Kiely
30th October, 2015
Toxic bootleg alcohol has killed at least 12 people in Istanbul, Turkey, and left dozens more in hospital over the last three days.
Health minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said 59 people have now been hospitalised as a result of drinking raki – an aniseed-flavoured liquor, which is believed to have been infused with deadly amounts of methyl alcohol.
“Nine patients are in critical condition and five others are in intensive care while 15 patients have been discharged after treatment,” he said, as reported by Business Standard.
Police have made 15 arrests in connection to producing the illegal alcohol.
Serkan Okansoy, a victim of the bootleg booze, urged the government to lower the tax on raki to prevent similar incidents occurring in future.
“Please, make raki a bit cheaper,” he said. “Everyone has to buy it on the black market.”
Illicit raki can be purchased for around five Turkish liras (?1.5 or US$1.7) per bottle, while legal, shop-bought bottles cost approximately 38 liras.
Earlier this year, bootleg alcohol killed nearly 100 people in the Indian city of Mumbai.