Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wine maker questioned over poison

Wine maker questioned over poison

Wine maker questioned over poison

A rice wine producer from Pursat province who is suspected of manu-facturing poisonous wine that claimed the lives of six people and left 15 others seriously ill was detained for questioning yesterday by provincial police.  

Chhorn Chhean, director of medical examination for the Pursat provincial pol-ice, said  Mut Chamnab, a 49-year-old from Veal Veng district, had been taken in for questioning while officers searched his property for poisonous materials.

Everyone who drinks too much methanol will die

“During the search, we found some methanol that we suspect is responsible for poisoning the villagers. If we find out that he purposely poisoned the wine, he will be arrested and sent to court,” Chhorn Chhean said.
“We have sent the mater-ials [from the suspect’s residence] to be tested in Phnom Penh,” he added.

Police said the suspect  had refused to co-operate with the ongoing investigation and had stonewalled interrogating officers regar-ding the poisonings.

Chhorn Chhean said investigating officers would give the suspect 48 hours to co-operate and respond to questioning before he would be officially arrested and sent to the provincial court.

Khlem Sokoun, director of the provincial health department, said yesterday he believed the rice wine was poisoned because its manufacturer used too much methanol during its production, which could create high levels of toxicity.

“Everyone who drinks too much methanol will die,” Khlem Sokhoun said.

Over the course of the past week, poisoned rice wine has killed four drinkers in Pursat’s Veal Veng district and two others in the Phnom Kravanh district.

Fifteen others have fallen seriously ill from contamin-ated alcohol.


  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • UAE prince seeks to invest in Cambodia

    The UAE has expressed interest in Cambodian oil and gas exploration. Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said this was the result of his discussions with Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family who visited him on Wednesday.

  • Smith calls for ‘release’ of Sokha as visit ends

    At a press conference to conclude her 11-day visit to Cambodia, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith on Thursday called for treason charges against former opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped and for him to be released from “restricted detention”.

  • PM denies ‘nepotism’ claims

    Prime minister Hun Sen denied on Thursday that nepotism was involved in the recent promotions of the children of senior government officials. He said they had been “trained” and were entirely capable of carrying out their duties while being open to “punishment” like anyone else.