Three foreigners arrested for distributing fake liquor

Gombak District Police chief Samsor Maarof says police seized 870 bottles and 271 cans of liquor. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Three Indian nationals suspected of distributing cheap counterfeit liquor to retailers around Selayang and Desa Jaya have been arrested following the death of six Myanmar men from toxic methanol poisoning.

The suspects were detained at a rented home in Taman Bukit Desa, here, at 2.45am, in the operation codenamed “Op Methanol”.

Gombak District Police chief Samsor Maarof said all the suspects, who were in their 30s, had entered the country using social visit passes and were actively producing liquor for the past six months.

“The police seized 870 bottles and 271 cans of liquor and we are expecting more to be seized,” he said at the Gombak District Police Headquarters here, today.

He said investigations found that the three suspects had no criminal records and the case was being investigated under Section 304 (b) of the Penal Code.

Samsor said all the suspects were remanded for four days until Saturday to assist with investigations.

Asked if there were any recent deaths due to toxic methanol poisoning in the Gombak district, Samsor said there were none so far.

More than 30 people comprising foreigners and locals have died, and dozens of others admitted to hospitals around the Klang Valley, Perak and Negeri Sembilan due to methanol poisoning.

Meanwhile, in Klang, police have detained three local men and seized RM40,000 worth of liquor in two raids conducted yesterday and early today.

South Klang District Police chief Shamsul Amar Ramli said the first raid was conducted at a house in Bandar Bukit Tinggi at about 11.15pm, where a 28-year-old suspect, believed to be the middleman, was arrested.

He said the suspect then led the police to a terrace house in Taman Sentosa at about 12.15am, where two others, aged 18 and 24, who were guarding the premises were also arrested.

“At the terrace house, about 12,800 cans and bottles of liquor comprising 19 brands were seized and the alcohol is believed to have high methanol content.

“The terrace house is believed to be turned into a warehouse for the smuggled liquor,” he said, adding that the liquor was believed to have been brought in from India and then distributed to unlicensed liquor stores.