OSAKA (Kyodo) Authorities are investigating inmates at a detention house in Osaka Prefecture who are allegedly mixing “cocktails” in their cells by spiking beverages with medical alcohol normally used as disinfectant, an official said Sunday.

The prisoners, all men, are suspected of stealing the alcohol from the dining room and other locations at Sakai detention house and mixing it with tea and orange juice served at mealtime.

The makeshift bar behind bars has apparently been in business since January.

An inmate who caught wind of the partying notified prison authorities in mid-February, they said. It is against prison rules for inmates to drink alcohol.

Shigemitsu Miyachi, an inspector at the Osaka prison that oversees the facility, said, “We never thought anybody would even try to drink medical alcohol. We are only using the alcohol in areas where our officials are on duty.”

Authorities are now looking into how the prisoners got the alcohol into their cells.

It is not clear if the inmates were drinking rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), a toxic form often used to disinfect surfaces in clinics and hospitals. The type used in alcoholic beverages is usually ethanol.

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