Two tons of bootleg alcohol seized in Turkey’s northwest

Two tons of bootleg alcohol seized in Turkey’s northwest

TEKİRDAĞ – Doğan News Agency
Two tons of bootleg alcohol seized in Turkey’s northwest

DHA photo

Two tons of bottled bootleg alcohol have been seized in an operation against illegal alcoholic drink makers in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ, in the latest development in Turkey’s bootleg alcohol crisis that has left dozens dead.

The smuggling and organized crimes unit officers of the police department in Tekirdağ’s Çorlu district confiscated two tons of bottled fake drinks after they raided a farm in the Türkgücü neighborhood of Çorlu on Nov. 5.

The owner of the farm, identified only as Sabit M., was detained after the raid.

The operation came less than a week after a previous raid, in which 2.5 tons of bootleg drinks were confiscated in two homes.

The death toll from bootleg alcohol in Istanbul, meanwhile, is reported to have risen to 28 after forensic examinations revealed another seven deaths caused by alcohol poisoning.

“We currently have eight patients in intensive care units at hospitals suffering from bootleg alcohol. Five other patients are being treated in other services. We have so far had 91 patients filed related to bootleg alcohol,” the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu as saying on Nov. 6.

The bootleg alcohol crisis erupted in late October amid news that 12 people had died from drinking counterfeit rakı, a Turkish liquor made of anise, prompting police to launch operations in four Istanbul districts.

The side effects of the tainted alcohol included delirium, severe stomach aches, vomiting, and visual impairment.

Police have detained more than 20 people in relation to the case, including suspected producers, suppliers, and sellers, while seizing thousands of bottles in several operations across Turkey. The suspects have been charged with homicide with possible intent.