GEORGE TOWN: Penang police yesterday detained seven Myanmar men and one local man believed to be involved in a syndicate processing fake liquor.
Northeast district police chief ACP Che Zaimani Che Awang said in the operation from 4pm until 5.30pm, police nabbed a local man aged 50 in front of a shop at Lebuh Victoria before apprehending one Myanmar man aged 50 at a condominium in Jalan Datuk Keramat.
“Following the two arrests, police raided a double-storey house in Jalan Kajang and detained six other Myanmar men aged between 22 and 47, believed to be workers processing fake liquor of various brands,“ he said here today.
He said the house rented by the syndicate for processing fake liquor was full of black plastic packets containing bottles of liquor ready to be marketed.
There were also various brands of liquor believed to have been smuggled in, chemicals and ingredients in plastic containers and in the kitchen, he said.
Che Zaimani said police also seized hundreds of old liquor for recycling, labels of various liquor brands and four bottle top machines from the premises.
“Following the three raids, we believe we have crippled the syndicate which is also suspected to be responsible for the methanol poisoning deaths in Penang,“ he said.
He said preliminary investigations revealed that the syndicate had been processing fake liquor for four years and selling them cheaply to foreigners working at construction sites in the state.
Police are tracking down another local man believed to be the mastermind of the syndicate.
Six men including two locals were reported to have died of methanol poisoning after drinking homemade liquor between April and June 11.
The victims in their 40s comprised two locals, three Myanmar nationals and one Indian national. Seven others are still receiving treatment. — Bernama