JAKARTA, Feb. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — A number of people have fallen severely ill after drinking a drug-infused instant coffee mix in the state of Penang, Malaysia, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
At least seven people including two Nepalese janitors were left suffering from drug poisoning after taking pre-mix durian white coffee in the capital city of George Town and surrounding area in Penang, and were admitted to hospital, according to the Malaysian National News Agency (BERNAMA).
The victims are said to have consumed the famous Penang Durian White Coffee given to them by strangers before suffering from a number of symptoms such as severe headaches, nausea and lethargy, and even falling into a coma, local media reported.
All victims have now recovered after being hospitalized for some time.
The company producing the coffee mix has filed a police report alleging sabotage and has claimed the coffee sachets given to the victims were different in appearance from the regular products.
According to local police, 10 grams of a green powdery substance were found in the sachets in question, which appeared to have been opened and sealed again.
Local authorities in Malaysia have issued a warning over the coffee mix sachets infused with drugs, with the country’s health minister having ordered the police to speed up their investigation.
Despite the incidents, the Malaysian health ministry said it will not order a recall or ban the sale of the product, though efforts to look into the manufacturing process will continue, including random checks on product samples.
Last week, Singaporean food authorities issued a recall of the product in a precautionary move.
Mixing toxic substances with food products is a serious crime in Malaysia, and perpetrators can face up to six months in jail or fines of 2,000 Malaysian ringgit (around 550,000 won).
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)