Bandits broke into St Lucia Distillers Ltd at Roseau and escaped with what was described as very high strength alcohol, HTS News reported Wednesday evening.
The television news channel quoted the CEO of the company, Margaret Monplaisir, as saying that the intruders stole 170 litres of 95 percent proof ‘un-aged distillate’.
“If they consume it at 95 percent we’re going to have a few dead people,” she warned.
Monplaisir explained that the thieves entered the premises by cutting a hole in the fence at the back entrance of the property.
“If you think of the bottles in the supermarket – the bigger bottle, not the smaller one, so you have the normal size which would be the 750ml and you have a 1 litre size which is a bigger bottle that is sold on the supermarket shelves – 170 of that, but it’s the pure alcohol,” Monplaisir explained.
She urged citizens not to buy ‘unbranded’ alcohol.
St Lucia Distillers Ltd produces brands which include Bounty Rum and Chairman’s Reserve.
The theft from the company came amid a raging debate over the government’s decision to suspend liquor licenses in a bid to encourage social distancing in the fight against COVID-19.
There have been reports of a thriving black market trade in liquor in the aftermath of the restrictions which came into force in March.
There have also been reports that some individuals had turned to consuming rubbing alcohol and other ‘substitutes’.
Thursday the Ministry of Commerce announced the lifting of the suspension of liquor licenses with strict protocols to govern the sale of alcohol.