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Published
Dec 22, 2008
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It's a smear: killer perfume rumours raise stink in the Gulf

By
AFP
Published
Dec 22, 2008

DUBAI, Dec 22, 2008 (AFP) - Abu Dhabi police and Qatar's health ministry sought to play down fears among consumers on Monday that a killer perfume was on the loose after a rumour was spread by text message to mobile phones.



Police in Abu Dhabi were quickly on the scent. The official WAM news agency quoted police chief Colonel Maktoum Sharifi as formally denying the rumour about the wares being pushed by wandering perfume sellers.

The text messages claimed 18 people had died after using the unnamed perfume and that another 35 had been admitted to intensive care in hospitals in Abu Dhabi and in Qatar.

Sharifi said the rumours were "without substance," and did not rule out differences between perfume sellers as being behind the malodorous campaign.

In Doha a health ministry spokesman was quoted by the state QNA news agency as urging people not to believe the rumours and to tell the authorities if anyone manages to sniff out who started the scare.

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