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Crackdown on bootleg liquor factories after multiple deaths

  • Published at 02:09 pm February 2nd, 2021
Liquor
Representational photo Bigstock

The owner of the factory  used to sell foreign alcohol from warehouses while the ‘chief chemist’ sold adulterated alcohol in old bottles of foreign liquor

After multiple deaths in the span of a week from liquor poisoning in Bangladesh, police have started cracking down on factories manufacturing pure ethanol laced alcohol.

As part of the crackdown, law enforcement conducted a raid in the Bhatara area of Dhaka on Monday night and busted an illegal factory.

They also apprehended six people, including the owner of the factory, during the raid at Khilbarir Tek.

The arrestees were identified as Montush Chandra Adhikary alias Akash, 35, Redwan Ullah, 35, Sagar Bapari, 27, Nasir Ahmed alias Ruhul, 48, Sayed Al Amin,30, and Md Jahangir Alam, 45.

A team of Detective Branch of police (Gulshan Division) led by Deputy Commissioner Mashiur Rahman conducted the two-hour drive in Bhatara from around 10pm on Monday, media reports said.

Following news of several deaths in Dhaka from alcohol poisoning in the last two days, the detectives began investigation to this end and tracked down the delivery person first and then the supplier and wholesaler, and in this way finally traced the factory location, said Mashiur Rahman, reports The Daily Star.

The owner of the factory, Md Nasir, used to sell foreign alcohol after taking those from warehouses, while the "chief chemist" Md Jahangir used to sell old bottles of foreign liquor.

Both of them have been arrested along with four others during the drive, and a case has been filed against them under Special Powers Act, the DB official said. 

In addition, murder cases will also be filed against them for intentionally selling harmful products that cost people's life, he added.

Deaths from alcohol poisoning

In Bogra, the death toll from consumption of expired liquor rose to eight on Tuesday.

Ramzan Ali, 65, became the latest victim of toxic liquor poisoning in Bogra. He died in a hospital on Tuesday.

Sadar police station OC Humayun Kabir has said, with this death, till now eight people have died from alcohol poisoning.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ramnath Rabidas, 68, who was undergoing treatment at Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College and Hospital, died in Bogra.

The tragedy has been unfolding in the district since Sunday night.

The other deceased are Premnath Rabidas, 60, Sumon Rabidas, 38, Saju Pramanik, 55, Palash Miah, 35, Abdul Jalil, 65, and Zulfiqar Rahman, 55.


Also Read - Death toll in Bogra liquor tragedy rises to 7


OC Humayun Kabir said with Ramnath's death, three people died so far from the same family.

The bodies were sent to the hospital morgue for autopsy.

Three more people who drank the toxic alcohol on Sunday are receiving treatment at the hospital at the moment.

Meanwhile, a case has been filed with the Sadar police station against three homeopathy medicine shop owners in this connection.

Monwar Hossain, brother of Ranju who fell sick after consuming the spurious alcohol, filed the case on Monday night.

Local sources said Sumon, his father Premnath, uncle Ramnath and a few others drank liquor at a homeopathy medicine shop on Sunday night after attending a wedding ceremony in Tinmatha area of the district town.

After returning home, they all fell sick and were taken to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College and Hospital.

In another incident, at least three employees of a top public relations and advertising company died in the last 48 hours allegedly from alcohol poisoning in Dhaka hospitals after they returned from a retreat at a Gazipur resort.

Around 43 staffers of the company went to Sarah Resort at Rajabari of Sreepur upazila on January 28 and checked out on January 30.

Some had alcoholic beverages at the resort and became sick on their way back to the capital. Many of them are now hospitalized for poisoning treatment, police said.

"Three persons died so far at the Sarah Resort incident," AKM Jahirul Islam, additional superintendent of police in Gazipur, confirmed.

Some of the employees are now undergoing treatment at different hospitals including United Hospital, Evercare Hospital, Impulse Hospital, Ibn Sina Hospital, and Universal Medical College and Hospital.

"Medical reports said they died due to respiratory failure, which is because of poisoning. A viscera examination will be done to ascertain that," the police official said.

Two of the victims died at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital (ShSMCH) on Sunday and the other on Monday at the Uttara Crescent Hospital.

ShSMC Forensic Medicine Department head Dr AM Selim Reza, who conducted an autopsy of one of the victims, said: "We cannot say the cause of death immediately but suspect alcoholic toxicity. Samples have been sent for a viscera test to detect any poison or alcohol's presence.”

Police filed a case on charges of culpable homicide on Monday night, said the OC of Gazipur's Sreepur police station, Khondoker Imam Hossain.

A staffer of the media organization said that one colleague has several organ failure from excessive consumption of alcohol. "He is in a critical state."

Dr Ashis Kumar Chakraborty, managing director of Universal Medical College and Hospital, told Dhaka Tribune that another employee of the advertising company is on a ventilator at the hospital. 

The patient, who has also multiple organ failure, is yet to respond, he said. 

This happens when too much alcohol is consumed in a short period of time or if toxic liquor is consumed. 

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