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Illegal alcohol kills 15 in Russia

Published:  27 November, 2015

Counterfeit alcohol has killed 15 people in the last two weeks, according to authorities in Russia.

Eight have died in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk from drinking fake Jack Daniels. A further thirty have reportedly been hospitalised.

The well-packaged alcohol was bought online, from a site which has sold some 1,600 bottles.

Authorities are trying to trace consumers who bought the counterfeit whisky. Two men, aged 25 and 29, have been arrested.

The counterfeit whisky is reported to have contained up to 60% methanol, which can be fatal when consumed.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, medical adviser to Drinkaware, told the Daily Star: "It can also accumulate in the nervous system causing Parkinson's-like symptoms ? uncontrollable tremors, rigidity and paucity of movement. Part of your brain ceases to respond as it should."

Methanol is a commonly used substance in counterfeit alcohol, although other solvents - including paint stripper - have also been found in products seized by the police.

Counterfeit Scotch is estimated to cost the Scottish whisky industry some £500 million a year.

Earlier this year, authorities in China seized 5,000 bottles of baiju which had been laced with Viagra.

Police seized £30,000 of counterfeit alcohol at this year's Notting Hill Carnival.