PETALING JAYA: Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar has called upon the authorities to clamp down on the sale of counterfeit liquor at grocery shops, following a mass alcohol poisoning that has already claimed 19 lives.
Dr Xavier said that the police, Land Office, Customs, Local Council and other relevant government agencies should form a task force and conduct major operations to “flush out” the sale of illicit alcoholic beverages from the market.
“How are those who manufacture or import these deadly drinks locally are being allowed to continue operating in the first place?
“In causing the deaths of these men, and many other the years, what they have done is nothing short of murder,” he said in a statement issued Wednesday (Sept 19).
According to Dr Xavier, those who manufacture or import counterfeit liquor should be slapped with criminal charges and have their business premises closed by the authorities for good.
“Premises that are found to be selling such liquor should also be slapped with heavy compounds as a deterrence in the future,” he said.
As of Wednesday, the police have arrested seven suspects and seized 1,030 bottles of whiskey and 1,767 beer cans, from 12 raids in the Klang Valley area, which was launched following an ongoing probe in the mass alcohol poisoning case.
The three brands of alcoholic beverages involved were Mandalay Whiskey, Kingfisher Beer and Grand Royal Whiskey.
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