In Meknes, central Morocco, seven people died after consuming adulterated alcohol, Morocco's MAP news agency reported Tuesday. An eighth person was intoxicated. An investigation was immediately opened. The alcohol would have been acquired from a grocery store, said a police source of the city of Meknes to the MAP.
The investigations led to the arrest of his shopkeeper, 67, and his apprentice, aged 17. They are suspected of possession and sale of adulterated alcoholic products that caused the death of consumers, according to the same source. Police also seized a dozen empty bottles that contained medical alcohol "which caused the death of the victims."
Adulterated alcohol, also called "counterfeit", is made from substances "such as antifreeze, solvent and even stripper", according to the Interpol website. Highly toxic, this drink wreaks havoc especially in Russia or India.
Sale of alcohol prohibited to Muslims
This is not the first time that such a tragedy has occurred in Morocco, but also in Tunisia and Algeria. A total of 19 people died last September in Ksar El Kebir, a city in the north of the kingdom, after consuming this type of alcohol. In July 2021, about <> people died after drinking adulterated alcohol in Oujda, eastern Morocco.
In theory, Moroccan law prohibits the sale of alcohol to Muslims, 99% of the population of Morocco, where Islam is the state religion. In fact, it is easily found in bars, restaurants or in licensed stores that offer it for sale behind opaque glass or thick curtains.