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Nearly 350 rice wine shops ordered closed

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Police inspect a rice wine-making place in Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Leng district. Photo supplied

Nearly 350 rice wine shops ordered closed

Police have shut down 347 shops selling rice wine and 36 producers in Kompong Chhnang province’s Kampong Leng district after 131 people became sick from drinking a tainted product and eight people died.

The Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression (CPCFR) said on December 1 the rice wine contained high levels of Methanol.

CPCFR’s officers worked in collaboration with police to check suspected sellers and producers in Teuk Phos district’s Chieb commune and eight other locations – three in Teuk Phos district and five in Kampong Tralach district.

The poisoning occurred at a November 28 funeral, but there have been more in the region.

“CPCFR’s officers collected 73 samples of rice wine to analyse at CPCFR’s, lab,” the CPCFR said in a report.

Sample testing shows the rice wine retrieved from Kampong Chhnang province contained high levels of methanol from 10.5 per cent to 17.25 per cent, which is above the legal level.

Kampong Leng district deputy police chief Seang Bunsan told The Post that 347 shops were told not sell anymore.

Police have not arrested anyone although one more person has died after drinking on his farm, the provincial Department of Health director Prak Vun said.

He said three people remained in serious condition at Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh.

The CPCFR called on people to stop drinking alcohol with no proper benchmark or specific source because it is cause dangers.

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