published: 13.09.2012, 14:59 | updated: 13.09.2012 15:20:45
Zlin - Czech police found a store with about 500 bottles of suspicious alcohol at Zlin's housing estate Jizni Svahy, local police spokesman Petr Jaros said today, while the police are raiding shops across the country to find the source of 18 recent deaths from lethal methanol.
Bootleg alcohol has already claimed 18 lives in the Czech Republic and some 30 people have serious health problems after having drunk tainted alcohol.
Some of those who have survived the poisoning with methanol have gone blind.
The first death was reported in north Moravia on September 6.
The labels of the found bottles bore the trademark Likerka Drak, Jaros said, adding that people had still some more bottles with the alcohol at home.
The police have warned them not to drink it at any rate, Jaros said.
Along with the bottles, a number of labels that were to be pasted were also found, he added.
Representatives of the Likerka Drak liquor maker said these were fakes, adding that analyses conducted by the agricultural and food inspection had not found any adulterated alcohol in the firm.
The police have charged the operator of an evening shop at Jizni Svahy where the people poisoned with alcohol had bought it.
If convicted, the man, aged 37, faces up to three years in prison and a ban on his business.
Unstamped alcohol was found in the shop. It is situated in the building inhabited by a woman, 61, who died from methanol poisoning on Tuesday.
Other people poisoned with methanol and now hospitalised allegedly bought spirits in the shop, too.
Two women have died from methanol poisoning and eight were taken into hospital over the poisoning in the Zlin region alone.
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