Bootleg booze kills 27 and poisons hundreds in Iran

Bootleg booze kills 27 and poisons hundreds in Iran
Bootleg booze kills 27 and poisons hundreds in Iran

Bootleg alcohol has reportedly killed at least 27 people in Iran in recent days, and poisoned more than 300.

A spokesman for the emergency services said 176 people were still in hospital in five provinces, according to Iranian media.

At least 16 died in the southern city of Bandar Abbas, where a married couple are said to have been arrested on suspicion of producing the alcohol.

State TV quoted the head of the medical school in Hormozgan province, where Bandar Abbas is located, as saying 123 people had sought help for alcohol poisoning.

In North Khorasan province, police raided an underground distillery and made 31 arrests on Friday night, said the IRNA news agency.

Bootleg booze is widely available in the country, despite the majority-Muslim population being banned from drinking it.

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Punishments include flogging, imprisonment and cash fines but the the problems remains - many alcohol rehab centres have opened in recent years.

Non-Muslim religious communities are able to produce and sell their own alcohol however.

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