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Iran sentences four to death over bootleg alcohol

September 27, 2023

TEHRAN: Iran has sentenced four people to death for selling contaminated bootleg alcohol that killed 17 people and sent dozens more to hospital in June, the judiciary said on Tuesday.

The sale and consumption of alcohol has been banned in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, giving rise to a huge illicit trade in smuggled or bootleg alcohol, some of it adulterated with poisonous methanol.

In June, at least 17 people died and 191 were admitted to hospital with symptoms of methanol poisoning after drinking adulterated alcohol. Judiciary spokesman Massoud Setayeshi said 11 defendants had been charged with the capital offence of corruption on earth over the distribution of the toxic liquor in Alborz province, west of Tehran. Of the 11, four were sentenced to death while the rest received prison sentences of one to five years, Setayeshi said, adding that the convicts could appeal to the Supreme Court.