In Smolensk Region, man charged with selling fake alcohol which killed two women to stand trial

The Smolensk Region Office of the RF Investigative Committee has finished criminal proceedings against a 27-year-old man charged with production, storage, transportation or selling of products, execution of work or provision of services that do not meet safety standards entailing death of two people by negligence under Part 3 of Article 238 of the RF Penal Code.

On 5 December 2015, two women aged 27 and 29 from the town of Safonovo were taken to clinical hospital No 1 with poisoning of fake alcohol after drinking Cognac that contained methyl alcohol. Both of them died. The crime was solved thanks to well-planned operations conducted by investigators of the regional investigative authority together with regional offices of the Federal Security Service and the Ministry of the Interior.

The investigators revealed that from 1 June to 31 August 2015, the 27-year-old man had a criminal intention to store and transport alcohol-containing liquid disguised as different kinds of alcohol (vodka, cognac, tequila, whisky) to sell it to residents of Smolensk Region. The alcohol had no documents confirming its safety. The accused bought at least 111 0.5-liter bottles of alcohol-containing liquid called Russian Cognac Kizlyar, at least 35 0.5-liter bottles of Russian Cognac Old Dagestan, at least 35 0.5-liter bottles of Russian Cognac Lezginka, 60 of which contained 36% of methyl alcohol (methanol) while the liquid in the rest of the bottles did not meet state standards.

In addition, the man bought at least 81 0.5-liter bottles of vodka Royal Hunt, Belenkaya, Mernaya, at least 31 1-liter bottles of Jack Daniels, Olmeca Blanco, Olmeca Gold, BlueLabel Johnnie Walker, Beefeater, Bacardi Superior, Bacardi black, Pere Magloire which also contained liquid that did not meet the composition stated on the label. The accused stored the said alcohol in his garage in Safonovo and in the garage of an acquaintance of his in the town of Smolensk.

On 29 November 2015, the man sold to an acquaintance of his at least 2 0.5-liter bottles of Russian Cognac Kizlyar, at least 2 0.5-liter bottles of Russian Cognac Lezginka and 1 0.5-liter bottle of Russian Cognac Old Dagestan. The buyer took the alcohol home, where his wife and her friend drank it from 3 to 5 December 2015, and later died.

According to the conclusion of an expert, the cause of their death was methyl alcohol poisoning.

The investigators ran more than 50 forensic inquiries, seized more than 8 thousand bottles of fake alcohol and interrogated more than 40 witnesses.

The investigators have enough evidence so the criminal case with the signed indictment has been referred to court.