22 Dead, 16 Hospitalized From Bootleg Alcohol Poisoning in Istanbul

The Istanbul governorate on Friday announced that 22 people, including foreign nationals, have died of bootleg alcohol poisoning in the past two days.

Another 16 have been hospitalized and are in serious health condition after drinking bootleg alcohol.

The bootleg alcohol fatalities have prompted authorities to crackdown on counterfeit drinks across Turkey ahead of New Year’s celebrations.

Of the 22 fatalities, 11 were foreigners because they preferred to drink bootleg alcohol due to its cheaper price.

There were 12 suspects who have been arrested in connection with the sale of bootleg alcohol to the victims but eight of them were released with judiciary control while the rest are behind the bars.

The Daily SABAH reported that another 14 people were arrested during Nov. 16 to Dec. 16 in 56 nationwide operations carried out against bootleg alcohol production and its smuggling,

Police also seized more than 32,000 bottles of spurious alcohol and 27 tons of alcoholic beverages.

The security forces launched nationwide operations after 42 people lost their lives in the past two weeks after confiscating tons of bootleg drinks and arrested 85 suspects.

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