Bootleg booze kills 82 in Indonesia

April 11, 2018

Indonesian police have vowed to crack down on bootleg alcohol after 100 deaths this month alone.

Indonesian authorities say the number of people dead from consuming homemade adulterated alcohol on Java island has increased to 82 and seven suspects have been arrested in relation to the incident.

Deputy Chief of National Police Muhammad Syafruddin said in a Jakarta press conference that 51 people have died in West Java province since Friday when those affected started being taken to hospitals.

The other 31 dead are from the metropolitan area of the provincial capital Bandung and started being hospitalised at the beginning of the month, according to Jakarta police spokesperson Argo Yuwono, also present at the press conference.

The hospital at Cicalengka city, located 25km to the east of Bandung, has attended to the most casualties - 147 patients since Friday, of which 31 died, according to hospital records accessed by efe.

Around midday on Wednesday, the Cicalengka hospital was attending to around 37 people after discharging 110.

At the press conference, the police presented six suspects of the seven arrested in Jakarta for selling adulterated alcohol, which according to laboratory analysis, contained methanol.

Methanol is a colourless, inflammable and toxic chemical compound used as an antifreeze, a solvent and as fuel.

The sale of alcohol in Indonesia, a country where Muslims account for 88 per cent of its 260 million residents, is regulated and subject to high taxation.

Nahdlatul Ulama, the country's largest Muslim organisation and of a moderate nature, last year opposed a ban on alcohol sought by the most conservative section on grounds of the dangers of consuming adulterated alcohol.

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