According to a report by the Moroccan news agency MAP on Tuesday, seven people in Meknes, central Morocco, died after consuming adulterated alcohol, and the police have arrested two suspects. The investigation was launched after the victims consumed adulterated alcohol suspected of being purchased from a grocery shop. An eighth person was also intoxicated. The police arrested a 67-year-old shopkeeper and his 17-year-old apprentice, suspected of possessing and selling adulterated alcoholic products that caused the death of consumers. The police also seized around ten empty bottles containing medical alcohol, which led to the victims’ death.
This is not the first time such a tragedy has occurred in Morocco, as well as in Tunisia and Algeria. In September 2022, 19 people died 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.
Although Moroccan law prohibits the sale of alcohol to Muslims, who constitute 99% of the population of Morocco, where Islam is the state religion, alcohol is readily available in bars, restaurants, and licensed shops. However, they sell it behind opaque glass or thick curtains.