Indonesia alcohol deaths exceed 100 as police vow crackdown

Indonesia alcohol deaths exceed 100 as police vow crackdown

Manali: Deaths from drinking toxic bootleg alcohol in Indonesia have surpassed 100 this month, police said on Wednesday as they vowed a “scorched earth” crackdown on the makers and distributors of black-market liquor.
Deputy National Police Chief Muhammad Syafruddin said the deaths have been concentrated in populous West Java and Jakarta, the capital, but there were also cases in South Kalimantan and other regions that brought fatalities to more than 100.
Indonesian TV has broadcast images of distraught relatives in several cities and lines of gurneys bearing dead bodies in hospital hallways as the death toll relentlessly climbed since late last week. There were 31 deaths in Jakarta and satellite cities at the beginning of the month followed by a dramatic surge in deaths in West Java and hospitalisations of dozens of people suffering nausea, blurry vision and loss of consciousness.
“This is a crazy phenomenon,” said Syafruddin, standing in front of seven handcuffed suspects at a news conference. “If we let it continue, it will harm the nation.”
“I have ordered all the police chiefs in Indonesia to make these cases stop, zero victims, meaning to reveal the roots ranging from the producers, distributors, sellers to those who have the idea of mixing alcohol with fatal chemicals,” Syafruddin said.
Police escort a suspect involved in the making of toxic bootleg alcohol after a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
Police displayed huge quantities of confiscated alcohol at the news conference, some of it in the small clear plastic bags it’s sold in for about 25,000 rupiah ($1.80) as well as professionally labelled bottles purporting to be whiskey or wine.
Syafruddin said production of illegal alcohol must be eradicated completely with a scorched earth campaign and called for the cooperation of the Cabinet and government agencies.