19.09.2012 / 11:45

Belarus Cautious About Czech Killer Spirits

Belarus' food safety authorities have tightened their supervision over the import and sale of alcoholic beverages from the Czech Republic and Poland.

Belarus' food safety authorities have tightened their supervision over the import and sale of alcoholic beverages from the Czech Republic and Poland, BelaPAN says.

A number of people have recently died of methanol poisoning in the Czech Republic and Poland, the Belarusian health ministry explains on its website.

Before buying alcohol beverages from retailers, people should demand quality and registration certificates, the ministry says.

In Belarus, the government has a monopoly right to import alcohol, the ministry notes. The government implements its monopoly through companies that are selected on a competition basis by an inter-agency commission, the ministry says.

The sale of alcoholic drinks within the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia requires a state registration certificate.

The total numbers of people who died of methanol poisoning in the Czech Republic in September reached 22 persons. Around 38 persons were hospitalised, some of them became blind.

The Czech Republic authorities removed all alcohol stronger than 20% (i.e. all beverages except wine and bear) from sale on September 14. Today, on September 19, advertising any spirits was prohibited on TV and radio.

The police say all the victims drank counterfeit vodka and rum. 10 suspects have already been arrested.

The poisonous spirits were also detected in Poland and Slovakia. These countries have already prohibited selling spirits from the Czech Republic.

nn.by