Dozens of deaths in Cambodia from poisonous home-brewed rice wine

In Cambodia, more than 30 people died from drinking poisonous rice wine in several incidents. The victims fell in three different places in a few weeks, as the authorities have announced.

In the last incident, seven women were killed. Almost a hundred people were hospitalized with symptoms of poisoning. More than a week ago, twelve people who had been drinking rice wine at a funeral were killed. And shortly before that, even at a funeral, twelve were killed.

Fifteen people have been arrested who are suspected of making or selling the wine. This includes prison sentences of two to five years in Cambodia.


Brewing rice wine is popular in Cambodia, one of the poorest countries in Asia. The drink is often fired in small quantities in the countryside and drunk a lot at weddings, holidays and festivals. If the alcohol is not properly distilled, methanol is released. This is difficult to notice because the fabric is odorless and tasteless.

Methanol is very toxic. Its a raw material in the chemical industry. Smaller amounts of methanol can become blind, a quantity of 25 grams is considered lethal.