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Deadly bootleg whiskey salesman gets lenient jail term after raising money for his victims

By 0 and 0 and 0
09 September 2016


'We believe responsibility should be comparable with an intentional killing.' Picture: Internal Miistry in Krasnoyarsk region

His actions may have saved other lives, and he was sentenced to just 20 months in jail for fatally poisoning his friend, and putting four others in hospital. Another sham Jack Daniels salesman in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Denis Komogortsev, 33, killed two with three more hospitalised.

He was sentenced to four years jail. The cases were part of a fake alcohol scandal last year in which 11 people died. 

Another salesman Dmitry Istomin, 24, burst into tears in court. A judge has heard that he was responsible for five deaths. 

Anton Zhivotov in court

Anton Zhivotov

Anton Zhivotov killed one man with fake Jack Daniels but then confessed to police, and crowded funded money to help other victims. Pictures: Prospekt Mira, Vkontakte

A verdict on his case is still awaited, but Komogortsev told the court: 'I didn't know what was inside these bottles. I didn't realise what tragic consequences my business would have. I've got a baby daughter. I work, I don't want to run away from the police.'

Andrey Arefiev, 20, Denis Pesegov, 22 and Evgeny Shestakov, 22, are also charged for selling fake alcohol and verdicts are still awaited. 

The case last year was one of a number that led the powerful Russian Investigative Committee to urge a law change to equate the production and selling of fake alcohol with murder. 

'We believe responsibility should be comparable with an intentional killing,' said spokesman Vladimir Markin. The current law has not been changed as yet.

Counterfeit alcohol seized

Counterfeit alcohol seized

Fake Daniels

'I didn't know what was inside these bottles. I didn't realise what tragic consequences my business would have. Pictures: Internal Miistry in Krasnoyarsk region

He stated: 'In our opinion, a person producing lethal alcoholic drinks is well aware of the social danger of his activity and possible consequences. We must bear it in mind that alcohol consumption in Russia has mass proportions.'

He singled out the Krasnoyarsk case which involved methanol poisoning.

Zhivotov was held by the court to have actively sought to make amends for his criminal behaviour, and to have alerted police as soon as he realised the fatal consequences of the vodka he sold. 

It is unclear if the authorities have caught the manufacturers of the bootleg whiskey. 

Comments (4)

I agree with all three of you, this case bears much more investigation and much higher consequences for the manufacturers. The packaging is alarmingly real looking so this is not a small, amateur, illegal operation. I think these bootleggers knew exactly what was in the bottles and have no remorse other than for the money lost when "customers" die. Methanol poisoning from "moonshine" is a long known fatal risk. I hope people are being informed and educated so we can help prevent Russian teenagers from thinking this would be fun to try.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
11/09/2016 20:51
Although the quality of the product proved to be deadly, it appears from the pictures that the quality of the packaging (bottles & cartons) was excellent, and not distinguishable from the real thing. It is a shame that the authorities have failed to find the actual producers of the deadly liquor, but instead caught some low level salesmen.
Simon Robinson, Blackburn, England
11/09/2016 16:38
far more harshly should the PRODUCERS OF THIS HOOCH BE DEALT WITH. But as usual in Russia.The fish starts smelling from the head down, but is being cleaned from the tail first....
Benedikt, Moscow
11/09/2016 11:46
Isn't it amazing how some people get away with "Murder". This was greed & I can't believe he didn't sell iffy whiskey before. How much money did he crowd fund? And if the government legislators are going to change this law? Can they give an answer as to "When"?!

We had our own iffy illegal drink in our country it was called "Poteen" (Poitin) and the lads were selling it galore. It contained 90% alcohol and a glass of it would make you feel like your insides were painted & your toes were curled. Some auld guys & young guys used to fall asleep on it & never wake up. That was the illegal stuff, now Poteen has become legal since 1997 because company's were set up to make it properly and cut the alcohol content down to 35/40 % which is still a good whiff of a drink by all accounts, I never drank it myself, for I mightn't be here writing this to you if I had.

The illegal stuff though is still sold by the Cowboys & Indians (Gangsters) to those that is, who want to get DEAD drunk.
Jaker, Dundalk
10/09/2016 09:37

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