GEORGE TOWN: Six men have died here, believed to be after drinking cheap liquor.
George Town OCPD Asst Comm Che Zaimani Che Awang said two victims were locals, three Myanmar nationals and another from India.
He said another seven Myanmar men are currently receiving medical treatment at the Penang Hospital.
Comm Che Zaimani said that the cheap liquor is believed to have been processed using methanol.
(Methanol is a toxic substance, unlike ethanol which is the type of ethyl alcohol found in drinks.)
"The content is then poured into an liquor bottle of an authentic brand", he said during a press conference at the district police headquarters in Patani Road on Monday (June 17).
He said that the cheap liquor is believed to have been distributed by a syndicate that has been active for two months.
He added that police conducted a raid at a shop in Komtar on June 15 and confiscated illegal liquor worth an estimated RM8,000.
This includes 600 'High Class Whisky', 312 cans of 'El Diablo Super Strong Brew' and 24 cans of 'Martens Extra Strong'.
Police also confiscated 240 small plastic bottles and eight big bottles containing a liquid believed to be liquor.
Comm Che Zaimani did not state if the raid and the deaths were related and the matter is still under investigation.
In September last year, there were 33 deaths related to methanol poisoning reported in Perak, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.