Deadly fake gin still on sale in Indonesia

7th August, 2014 by Lauren Eads

The family of a British backpacker who died after drinking fake gin laced with methanol has launched a campaign to warn others of the dangers after finding the deadly spirit still on sale.

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Cheznye Emmons

Cheznye Emmons, 23, was backpacking in Indonesia when she became ill after drinking the spirit, later found to be laced with deadly levels of methanol, in April last year.

An inquest into her death found she had suffered sudden blindness and convulsions and died five days after drinking the gin, according to reports by the BBC.

On a recent trip to northern Sumatra, her father, Brenton Emmons, discovered the gin which killed his daughter was still available to consumers, despite Indonesian authorities closing down a warehouse where more than 5,000 bottles of the fake spirit ad been found.

However compared to the 200 shops which stocked the spirit at the time of Cheznye’s death, there has been a significant decrease with just “two or three” found to stock it.

Her family are now trying to raise awareness of the dangers of methanol poisoning and fake spirits by launching the Save a Life Campaign which plans to distribute warning posters to doctors’ surgeries around the UK.

The family’s campaign Facebook page reads: “Cheznye was stolen from us whilst travelling in Indonesia on her dream trip. She drunk gin from a SEALED bottle that had been laced with Methanol. She is not only person to suffer this terrible fate and our family wish to STOP anyone else suffering a tragic lose like ours.”

Cheznye’s story was broadcast on the BBC One programme Fake Britain recently, after which Mr Emmons said the family received comments from people who saw the programme, thanking the family for raising awareness of the dangers of methanol.

“The only thing we’re able to do now is try to prevent any more deaths like Cheznye’s,” he said.

Earlier this year tourists to Bali were warned not to drink the local Arak after a spate of methanol poisonings, while in the Czech Republic two men behind a fake alcohol gang were jailed after 38 people were killed after drinking lethal alcohol.

In Kenya, a spirits firm was shut down after 83 people died after drinking alcohol believed to be laced with methanol. 

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