Tags: putin | surrogate | alcohol | crackdown

Putin's Surrogate Alcohol Crackdown Follows 62 Deaths

Image: Putin's Surrogate Alcohol Crackdown Follows 62 Deaths

A sealed-off vending machine selling Russian "bath lotion." (Evgeny Yepanchintsev/Sputnik via AP)
 

By    |   Thursday, 22 Dec 2016 09:07 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a crackdown on "surrogate" alcohol after the poisoning deaths of at least 62 people linked to fake booze.

Putin demanded that officials tighten controls over the production and sales of liquids with more than 25 percent alcohol content, including perfumes, cleaning fluids, medicines and cosmetics, reported The Guardian.

Investigators said they found an underground laboratory in the Siberian city of Irkutsk that made fake boyaryshnik, a tincture that is added to baths for relaxation. The liquid, which normally contains 93 percent ethanol, as well as hawthorn extract and lemon oil, is widely used as a cheap alcohol substitute in Russia.

Russian authorities searched more than 1,500 sales locations and confiscated 6,500 liters of spirits, according to the country's Investigative Committee, reported Reuters. Alexander Bastrykhin, Russia's top investigator, flew to Irkutsk this week to take charge of the operation.

The Irkutsk region's health ministry told Reuters on Wednesday that 36 people remained in the hospital in connection with surrogate alcohol.

The Russian consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor said last month that 36,000 cases of alcohol poisoning had been reported throughout the country in the first nine months of 2016, leading to 9,300 deaths, reported Radio Free Europe.

"There are two main problems in Russia's surrogate alcohol market: first is the widespread consumption of items marked as perfumes or bath tinctures," said The Guardian's Shaun Walker. "They are exempt from sales restrictions and taxes that normal alcoholic drinks would carry but are often sold at drinks kiosks where it is obvious people would purchase them for consumption."

"In one Russian region, automated street machines selling boyaryshnik were installed earlier this year. The second problem is fake alcohol: there have been numerous cases of underground factories making cheap vodka or whisky and attaching fake labels to the bottles."

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a crackdown on "surrogate" alcohol after the poisoning deaths of at least 62 people linked to fake booze.
putin, surrogate, alcohol, crackdown
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2016-07-22
Thursday, 22 Dec 2016 09:07 AM
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