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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Vodka free Tsagaan Sar?

Tsagaan Sar (White Month) is coming up, and police and politicians are appealing to the people to think twice about drinking vodka. My Tsagaan Sar experiences have been so vodka soaked, it's hard to imagine a celebration here without it. However, the general consensus is that it might actually be MORE enjoyable if you are not being forced to drink.
Below is an article from the UB Post
Illegal Vodka Production Uncovered in Police Raid
Written by Ch.Sumiyabazar
Thursday, January 10, 2008.
An illegal vodka distilling factory in the Songinokhairkhan District of Ulaanbaatar was discovered in a police raid last Sunday.
The Uurag Altai company, whose operation license was halted two years ago, was found distilling vodka with the fake label “Morit Khangai”, whose vodka has killed 14 people and hospitalized dozens of others. Also found were 200 liters of chemicals used in producing vodka, fake covers and print labels. “The small room where this business was conducted was horrible, small, and had a terrible stench. A container used for mixing chemicals was unclean. There were no safety or hygienic standards at all,” said a police officer.

Last week, two additional deaths were reported due to tainted vodka produced by the Asian Wolf company in Baganuur District that killed eleven people on New Year’s Eve. The deaths followed an emergency situation banning sales, distribution and bottling of alcoholic products in the metropolitan area. More than 60 people are receiving medical treatment in local hospitals in Baganuur, around 30 are in UB hospital due to poisoning. Relatives and families of those who died, received compensation of Tg900,000 each by the Government.
Chief officers of the professional inspection agency and local police department of the Baganuur District were released from their posts and held responsible for the situation. The Government of Mongolia last Friday invalidated production licenses of 11 alcohol producers including: Akhmadiin Khuch Cooperative, Mon Service, Gazriin Sudas, Tasiin OD, En Trade, Nomin, Lenda, Mongolyn Alt, Durvun Khangai, Setgeshgui Tergel, and Gun Galuut companies. In addition, production of 44 alcohol-bottling companies has been suspended for an indefinite period.
The Government has said that a number of laws on vodka production will be tightened in an effort to reduce illegal alcohol production and marketing. Several laws will be amended including those on commercial advertising, telecommunications, public radio and television, the application process for a special license of operation, and laws against drunkenness.
The Deputy Premier M.Enkhbold, appealed to the public not to celebrate the upcoming holiday, Tsagaan Sar lunar new year, with vodka. The city Mayor’s office, together with the metropolitan police department, raided all vodka businesses in the city and closed down 3,949 shops temporarily, where 39,400 liters of vodka were seized, sealed down 1.2 million bottles of vodka, and shut down the operation of 11 distillers.
“The local authority is buying specifically labeled vodkas from local individuals and destroying them,” said G.Gerelmaa, an officer of the district government. She denied recent media reports that said the drinking water and sanitation system of the district was polluted due to people disposing of toxic vodka.
Inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption of methanol is extremely dangerous to humans and ingestion is fatal. It is hazardous to the kidney, liver and heart. Exposure may cause serious eye damage including blindness. A number of workers from the Asian Wolf vodka distilling company were hospitalized, as they were bottling the tainted alcohol. “The Director General of the company, S.Monkhbat, is also in the hospital from drinking the poisoned vodka he produced,” said Gerelmaa. Also, two police officers came back to Ulaanbaatar hospitalized after they worked in Baganuur, loading trucks with poisonous vodkas. “Seven men are under investigation in connection with the importation of 600 liters of methanol, industrial strength alcohol,” said M.Ganbold, Chief of the General Police Department. After the strict ban was enforced, the police said crime rate dropped dramatically. The Metropolitan Police Department said it has lifted bans in small number of shops in Ulaanbaatar, but the full ban in Baganuur District continues.


Bob said...

Thanks so much for all the UB/MGL updates. I am scheduled to be there in April myself (after winter). I like the music updates. How is -30F? Are you OK? Do you get used to it? How many blocks do you have to go? Here it is above freezing most days in Chicago. It was +66F on the first week of January, 14 degrees above the record high, 2 days in a row.

Ulaana said...

Bob, glad you like it! Cold is cold, and -10 and -40 feel the same to me. I guess once yer legs are numb, it doesn't matter anymore!

Batmanjin said...

Oh my God, keep us posted. If you need me to fedex some hooch, just say the word.

ebaka said...

I'm Mongolian guy and now I'm studying in Taiwan. that is all interesting because foreigner wrote about my country. Good luck

denise garro said...

great blog annie....keep that skinny sister of yours warm when they come to visit. happy new year... maybe just drink beer....yummmmmm