An Iranian court has sentenced four people to death on charges of producing and distributing counterfeit alcohol, the Mizan news agency of the Iranian judiciary reported yesterday.
The counterfeit and bootlegged alcohol poisoned hundreds of people in the northern province of Alborz in June. A total of 208 people were poisoned, of whom 17 died and another 191 were injured or disabled after consuming the counterfeit alcohol, Iranian judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi said.
He also said that the suspects had illegally purchased industrial-grade alcohol from a medical equipment store and made counterfeit alcoholic drinks out of it before distributing it in the province.
Setayeshi said the prime suspect has studied chemistry and is a laboratory expert.
Besides the four death sentences, another seven suspects were given jail terms ranging from one to five years, Setayeshi said.
The suspects and their lawyers have been notified of the court’s ruling, Setayeshi said, adding they can appeal against the conviction.
In June, Iranian authorities raided a cosmetic factory where they seized more than 6,000 litres (1,585 gallons) of bootlegged alcohol.
Iran’s forensics institute said in March that the country had witnessed a 30 per cent increase in the number of deaths due to drinking bootlegged alcohol over the last 12 months, adding that as many as 644 people lost their lives in 2022 due to alcohol poisoning.