Police Seize 74 Cartons of Toxic Gin That Killed at Least 17

Police in Uganda have impounded 74 crates of toxic gin. (Photo: Eduardo Soares)

Seventy-four cartons of toxic gin have been impounded by police in Arua, Uganda, on Wednesday. The pineapple-flavored gin, City 5, had previously been behind at least 17 deaths in August, according to a report.

The excess of deadly gin was found after police received a tip that the crates were being stored in a commercial center in the Ayivu division of Arua City. The sum of crates were priced at about 1.7 million shillings ($14,090), as reported by New Vision.

Originally, the City 5 gin was being sold out of a roadside kiosk in northern Uganda. The Uganda National Bureau of Standards and the Ministry of Trade outlawed City 5 gin after numerous deaths and multiple cases of blindness and partial loss of vision.

“We thank those who shared timely information leading to the success of the operation, and we appeal to members of public to continue sharing information on people who are still secretly selling and consuming the deadly waragi so that a similar operation is conducted to eliminate it out of the community,” said Police Spokesperson for West Nile, Josephine Angucia, in a report.

The gin was found to be laced with excessive amounts of methanol, an industrial chemical used in pesticides and gasoline. Methanol was most likely used in City 5 production as a cheap alternative to ethanol. It was reported “to be between 17 to 16,183 times far higher than the permissible level of 50 milligrams per litre (mg/L).”

So far, four people have been detained in connection with the toxic gin deaths in August. Angucia warned the general public to cease all dealings with City 5 gin, or else they will “be arrested and prosecuted according to the law.”

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