Seven people have died after consuming adulterated alcohol in Meknes, central Morocco, Moroccan news agency MAP reported on Tuesday, adding that police have arrested two suspects.
An investigation was launched after seven people died after consuming adulterated alcohol suspected of having been purchased from a grocery shop, a police source in the city of Meknes told MAP, adding that an eighth person was intoxicated.
Investigations led to the arrest of a 67-year-old shopkeeper and his 17-year-old apprentice, suspected of possessing and selling adulterated alcoholic products that had caused the death of consumers, according to the same source.
The police also seized around ten empty bottles containing medical alcohol "which caused the death of the victims".
This is not the first time 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 town in the north of the kingdom, after consuming adulterated alcohol.
In July 2021, around twenty people died after drinking adulterated alcohol in Oujda, in 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 practice, however, alcohol is readily available in bars, restaurants, and licensed shops, which sell it behind opaque glass or thick curtains.