SHAH ALAM, Sept 19 — Police are now investigating the sale of tainted alcoholic beverages as culpable homicide not amounting to murder, following the deaths of 17 who consumed the drinks since Sunday.
Selangor police chief commissioner Datuk Pahlawan Mazlan Mansor said the case was reclassified to Section 304 of the Penal Code after the death toll reached 17 people in Selangor as at 8am today.
He said of the 50 victims reported in Selangor 24 remain in hospital and nine have been discharged.
“The deceased included one local, seven Myanmars, two Bangladeshis, five Nepali, one Indian and one unknown.
“We are still waiting for the official post-mortem results,” he said.
The Health Ministry explained yesterday that those affected by suspected alcohol poisoning were found to have a history of compounded hard liquor intake and showed symptoms of methanol poisoning.
He also said police carried out 12 raids across the state after establishing contact with the victims who suffered from alcohol poisoning and have arrested seven individuals for their alleged involvement in the sale of tainted alcoholic beverage.
“Operations were immediately launched statewide to detect alcoholic drinks consumed by the victims and premises involved in the sale of the products.
“The seven detained all of whom were shopkeepers, included two women, were two local males and the remainder foreigners,” he said today.
The raids were conducted in Bukit Kemuning Shah Alam, Taman Seri Muda Shah Alam, Taman Sri Gombak, Taman Daya, Taman Sri Ehsan Kg. Baru Subang, Seksyen U5 Shah Alam and Semenyih Kajang.
Yesterday police have identified three brands of alcoholic beverages consumed.
They were Mandalay Whiskey, Kingfisher beer, and Grand Royal Whiskey.
To date, Selangor police have seized 1,030 bottles of whiskey of various brands including the two brands affected and 1,767 beer cans of various brands including the brand that was consumed by the victims.
Following news of the incident, Mazlan said authorities believed some premises have shuttered their shops and attempted to dispose their supply to cover their tracks.
He could not deny nor confirm if the victim's had consumed tainted alcoholic beverages supplied by the same supplier.
“This is something we will look into and our investigations will involved tracing the source of the incident.
“We also urged those with information to step forward and assist in the ongoing investigations,” he said.