IPOH, Sept 21 ― Kingfisher’s brewer has denied any wrongdoing in the deaths of 21 people from alcohol poisoning, suggesting that bootleg or counterfeit versions of the product could be the culprit.
Star Online reported today that the brewer will provide a list of the beer’s ingredients to the Health Ministry and that it did not use methanol, which the ministry believes could be the cause of death.
Representing the brewer, Ultimate Branding Worldwide chief executive officer V. Shashikanth said in the report that the company only used natural ingredients and follows strict requirements.
“We don’t know how Kingfisher was implicated in the case but I can confirm we have nothing to do with it,” he was quoted saying.
“We have never been accused of causing fatalities in any of the countries the beer are being sold in,” he added.
He pointed out that the company had detected the sale of counterfeit versions of Kingfisher beer in Malaysia some eight months ago but it had dropped significantly after the company worked with authorities to curb the sales.
Star Online quoted Shashikanth as saying that authentic Kingfisher beer has less than 8 per cent alcohol content and uses only natural ingredients.
“While the fake ones have some 11 per cent alcohol content and taste very bad. The real ones have a manufacturing and expiry date along with a batch number while the fake ones only have an expiry date,” he said.
He also said the authentic Kingfisher beer has a profile of a bucket on its ring pull can while the fake ones only feature a loop.
“We have since brought the matter of counterfeit Kingfisher beer to the Malaysian High Court on Oct 19, 2017,” he was quoted as saying by the news portal.
The price of a carton of Kingfisher Beer is about RM200 while the fake ones are being sold at a significant lesser price, he added.
Shashikanth noted that Kingfisher is exported to 69 countries for nearly 30 years.
Besides Kingfisher beer, the other alcoholic beverages authorities identified in the deaths in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Perak are Grand Royal Whisky and Mandalay Whisky.