Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Bootleg liquor kills more than 100 in Indonesia

An Indonesian man is taken to a hospital in Bandung West Java province for treatment after drinking illegal alcohol Bootleg liquor kills more than 100 in Indonesia
Stacy Diaz | 12 April, 2018, 04:13

Indonesian police remove bottles of illegal alcohol from a house in Cicalengka district in West Java province on April 8, 2018.

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said Monday that another 31 people have died in Jakarta and its satellite cities of Depok and Bekasi from alcohol poisoning in separate incidents since the beginning of the month.

The deputy national police chief Muhammad Syafruddin said that the victims died in West Java province and Jakarta after consuming cheap home-made alcoholic drinks.

At least 45 people have died and dozens more are being treated in hospitals in Indonesia after drinking illegally produced alcohol.

"This is a insane phenomenon", he said.

High taxes on alcohol have spawned a black market for booze among the poor in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, where drinking alcohol is frowned upon but not illegal under civil law.

Bootleg liquor kills more than 100 in Indonesia

"If what is needed is limited in the legal market because of (government) policies then the need would be fulfilled by those who want to make a profit" from the black market, said Sugianto Tandra, a researcher at the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies.

In the recent spate of deaths, police said pure alcohol was sometimes combined with ingredients such as cough mixture and insect repellent.

Police say they will crackdown on producers and distributors in a bid to put a stop to a black market in alcohol.

It is noted that police arrested nine people suspected of manufacturing and selling surrogate alcohol.

He said the police were still investigating the liquor content the West Java victims consumed.

Deaths from toxic alcohol are common in Indonesia and foreigners are occasionally among the victims. There were six deaths from drinking compromised liquor in the easternmost region of Papua in late March.