Batch of deadly, illegal vodka seized in North Rhine-Westphalia

Bottles of unlicensed "Diamond Vodka" have been found to have potentially deadly levels of methanol in them. Authorities have warned people not to drink from the bottles, and to go to hospital immediately if they feel any symptoms.

Batch of deadly, illegal vodka seized in North Rhine-Westphalia

A potentially deadly vodka, also reported to make you blind, has been found to be in circulation in North Rhine-Westphalia. The vodka has been found to have 15 grams of methanol per litre in it, 400 times over the legal limit.

350 bottles have already been sold on the black market since October 2016, however the authorities say that for this reason they have no idea who has bought the dangerous drink.

When investigators searched the apartment of one of the men selling the illegal drink, they discovered over 1,000 yet unsold bottles being stored.

In December 2016 the customs' investigation office in Münster filed criminal preliminary proceedings against two men, 48 and 60, from Duisburg. They were accused of tax evasion and receiving profits on untaxed goods.

The department for the environment and consumer protection in North Rhine-Westphalia has detailed the symptoms in a recent press release. Fatigue, head aches, and nausea are known symptoms, but these can very quickly develop to become serious.

They recommend to anybody who has drunk the vodka recently that they should go to hospital straight away if they notice the symptoms. The press release said that “whether you're drunk or possibly have methanol poisoning, only a doctor can know for sure.”

Correction: This article initially stated the vodka contained menthol. It actually contains methanol!


German authorities impose second local coronavirus lockdown

Germany on Tuesday placed a second district under lockdown over a coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse, just hours after similar restrictions were imposed for a neighbouring area.

German authorities impose second local coronavirus lockdown
A man wearing a protective suit in the district of Gütersloh after a coronavirus outbreak at a meat plant. Now neighbouring district Warendorf is going into lockdown. Photo: DPA

“In order to protect the population, we are now launching a further safety and security package to effectively combat the spread of the virus,” North Rhine-Westphalia health minister Karl-Josef Laumann said Tuesday, ordering a lockdown for the district of Warendorf.

Authorities had earlier announced similar measures in the neighbouring district of Gütersloh after more than 1,500 workers tested positive for Covid-19 at the slaughterhouse.

Almost 280,000 people live in Warendorf. Businesses and cultural facilities will close, while all schools and daycare centres (Kitas) will also shut their doors.

READ ALSO: Explained – What you need to know about Germany's new local coronavirus lockdowns

In Gütersloh the new lockdown affected 360,000 people living there and will be in place until at least June 30th.

It came after more than 1,500 workers out of a total of nearly 7,000 have tested positive for Covid-19 at the slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrück run by Tönnies.

All workers are currently in quarantine. However, authorities are now turning to tougher rules to try and control the spread of coronavirus.

The new lockdown in Gütersloh means a return to measures first introduced in March, with cinemas, museums, concert halls, bars, gyms, swimming pools and saunas shut down.

However, restaurants can remain open with rules in place.

Schools and Kitas were already closed last week in a bid to control the virus.