published: 21.09.2012, 17:45 | updated: 21.09.2012 17:54:08
Prague - The Czech team investigating a series of methanol poisonings has mapped the basic structure of sellers and "mixers" of poisonous drinks and it believes it is on the track of the distribution network tops, Vaclav Kucera, deputy police president and Metyl investigation team head, said today.
He said the traces lead mainly to the Zlin Region in south Moravia, but also to the Moravia-Silesia Region in north Moravia.
Twenty-three people have died of poisonous alcohol in the country since early September and tens of others are in hospital.
The government imposed a ban on the sales and serving of drinks with more than 20 percent of alcohol a week ago. The ban has now been extended to include exports.
Kucera said detectives have made big progress after they uncovered a storage facility in Opava, north Moravia, where they found five one-thousand-litre barrels with a suspicious raw material that might be used in the production of poisonous alcohol.
It was probably from this place that methanol was transported to illegal filling rooms and further on to the retail network.
Kucera said "we started with bottles, passed on to cans and now we have progressed to an even bigger quantity. It points to the Zlin Region while the Moravia-Silesia Region is also involved," Kucera said.
He said the disentangling of the activities of the sellers and mixers is complicated because they are interconnected.
Kucera said the source of the lethal alcohol may be just one, but there may also be more of them.
It is not known whether the source comes from the Czech Republic, or whether it lies outside the country.
The police have accused 39 people in connection with the methanol poisonings and prohibition-related checks in restaurants, bars and other facilities.
Fourteen of them have been remanded in custody.
The biggest number of the accused are from the Moravia-Silesia Region, followed by other Moravian regions and also from the Karlovy Vary Region in west Bohemia.
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