Swedish police warn of deadly liquor

Swedish police have issued a warning to the public after a man died from methanol poisoning after drinking aquavit from a regular labelled bottle.

The 38-year-old Lithuanian man was taken to hospital by friends on Friday and died a day later, according to a report in the local Helsingborgs Dagblad daily.

“It was concluded that he had consumed a large amount of methanol,” said Joakim Ekstrand at Helsingborg’s police to the newspaper.

The police have opened an investigation into suspected manslaughter.

The bottle, which carried the label of the aquavit brand “Renat brännvin”, has been passed on to the police.

It has not yet been clarified how the man, who is of Lithuanian origin, got hold of the bottle and the police have issued a general warning for the public to exercise caution.

Methanol is deadly even when consumed in small quantities.

The Local reported in June about a 28-year-old Swede who died on Indonesian tourist island of Gili Trawangan after drinking the local liquor.

While the sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Sweden and is sold exclusively by the state-owned monopoly Systembolaget, there is an established black market of imported spirits.

Furthermore the distilling of moonshine, known as “hembränt” in Swedish, is a common problem both in rural and urban areas.

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