Czech Bootleg Alcohol Death Toll Climbs To 29


A 60-year-old Czech man died from methanol poisoning on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 29, the CTK news agency reported.

The first methanol death was reported in early September. Dozens of people have been hospitalized since then. Some of them went blind.

The government introduced a two-week ban on the sales of drinks with more than 20 percent of alcohol in mid-September and exports were also banned.

The police have accused some 50 people in connection with the poisoning.

Three men have been charged with endangering public safety, facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The police say the suspects did not want to kill anybody but wanted to earn money by producing illegal liquors. However, they knew well the consequences of methanol consumption, prosecutors said.

They wanted to profit from buying cheaper components for liquor production. When mixing components together, however, they prepared a mixture with an excessive methanol concentration that eventually poisoned consumers.

Ria Novosti

RIA Novosti was Russia's leading news agency in terms of multimedia technologies, website audience reach and quoting by the Russian media.

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