Police have arrested a suspected counterfeit liquor seller in a Far Eastern village after at least 14 local people have died of what appeared to be methanol poisoning, investigators said.
Police confiscated containers of alcohol while searching the 49-year-old man's home in the village of Krasny Velikan, in the Zabaikalsky Krai region, a spokesperson for the regional branch of the Investigative Committee said, Interfax reported Sunday.
Investigators said earlier that the alcohol may have been imported from China, with which Zabaikalsky region shares a border. Regional governor Konstantin Ilkovsky has ordered a tightened customs regime at the border and an emergency inspection of local liquor stores.
Two dozen other people have been hospitalized after drinking counterfeit liquor.