Police on Wednesday arrested three persons accused of preparing toxic liquor that killed 42 people, including a fourth suspect, after the brew was consumed widely on Christmas Eve.
“Four people have been identified who prepared and distributed the toxic liquor,” senior police official Atif Imran, who is investigating the case, told AFP, adding that the group had also consumed the alcohol themselves.
“One of them died because of the liquor, two others are in critical condition, while the fourth is in police custody,” he added.
Recipe for disaster
The suspects confessed to preparing the brew by mixing in “20 litres of aftershave” and other chemicals.
The statement was confirmed by another senior police official, Usman Akram Gondal.
More than a hundred people fell sick after drinking the concoction, one of the country’s deadliest cases of mass alcohol poisoning. Most of the cases were reported from a Christian neighbourhood.
Though legal breweries exist in Pakistan, alcohol sales and consumption are banned for Muslims and tightly regulated for minorities and foreigners.
While wealthy Pakistanis buy foreign alcohol on the black market at heavily inflated prices, the poor often resort to home brews that can contain methanol, commonly used in anti-freeze and fuel.
Eleven Christians died in October after consuming toxic liquor at a party in Punjab. In Oct 2014, 29 drinkers were killed after consuming methanol-tainted liquor over the Eid public holidays.