Fake alcohol kills consumers in Turkey, Russia

Poisonous vodkaTurkey’s counterfeit raki crisis has continued to take lives, with eight people killed in Izmir and at other hospitalised by bootleg booze.

Police, meanwhile, have detained five people suspected of selling and producing the bootleg alcohol, according to local news reports, including a couple running a shop in an Izmir market.

Around a dozen people have checked into hospitals in the Aegean province of Izmir complaining of headaches, stomach aches and fainting, which health authorities believe are a result of drinking potentially lethal methyl alcohol.

Last month it was reported that 19 people in Istanbul had died after drinking counterfeit raki, with more than 20 people arrested in the ensuing investigation.

Meanwhile, an ongoing counterfeit alcohol scandal in Russia has resulted in dozens of hospitalizations and several deaths, with the injuries linked to fake bottles of a number of well-known spirit brands, including Jack Daniels whiskey, purchased over the Internet. Four people have been arrested by police.

The outbreak has led to calls by consumer rights organizations for more than a dozen websites selling alcoholic drinks to be taken down.

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