Illegal alcohol leaves more than 100 dead in Indonesia

Deaths from illegal alcohol in Indonesia have exceeded one hundred so far this month, police said on Wednesday. The authorities promised to carry out a deep offensive to find the manufacturers and distributors of these drinks on the black market.

This month, deaths have been concentrated in the populated West Java and Jakarta, the capital of the country, and the cases in South Kalimantan and other regions raised the death toll to more than 100 people, said the deputy director of the national police , Muhammad Syafruddin.

The Indonesian television station broadcasted images of distressed family members in several cities also of rows of stretchers with corpses in the corridors of hospitals . In Jakarta and satellite cities, 31 deaths were reported at the beginning of the month, followed by a dramatic increase in hospital admissions and deaths in West Java.

“This phenomenon is crazy,” said Syafruddin. “If we let it continue, it will harm the country.”

“I have ordered all the Indonesian police chiefs to stop the cases, zero victims, which means uncovering the root (of the problem), from the producers, distributors and vendors to those who had the idea of ​​mixing alcohol with lethal chemicals” , Syafruddin told reporters.

In the production of these clandestine liquors, which are sometimes consumed mixed with soft drinks, usually  potentially lethal ingredients such as methanol are used. In this latest wave of deaths, pure alcohol appeared mixed with ingredients such as cough syrup or insect repellent, according to the police.

Laboratory tests conducted on liquors seized in several raids in Jakarta showed that they contained methanol, Syafruddin said.

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