Iran arrests four over bootleg alcohol deaths: Media

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Iranian authorities have arrested four people on suspicion of selling contaminated bootleg alcohol that killed at least three people, Iranian media reported Wednesday.

The sale and consumption of alcohol has been banned in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, leading to a huge illicit trade in bootleg products, some of them adulterated with poisonous methanol.

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“Three people have died of alcohol poisoning due to the consumption of counterfeit beverages,” said Saber Jafari, prosecutor for the city of Maku in the northwestern province of West Azerbaijan.

“Twenty people with symptoms of alcohol poisoning have been transferred to the city’s Fajr Hospital,” Jafari told the Fars news agency.

He said four people had been arrested and an investigation was underway.

Iran sentenced four people to death in September for selling contaminated bootleg alcohol that killed 17 people in June.

In the year to March, 644 people died after consuming “counterfeit alcoholic beverages,” Iran’s forensics institute said, a 30 percent increase on the previous 12-month period.

At the height of the Covid pandemic in 2020, at least 210 Iranians died after drinking bootleg alcohol, falsely believing it to be a remedy for the virus.

Only members of Iran’s Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian minorities are exempt from the alcohol ban. Foreigners are required to respect it.

Read more:

Iran sentences four to death over bootleg alcohol that killed 17

Iran: 15 dead after drinking bootleg booze

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