Bootleg liquor kills more than 100 in Indonesia


The deaths occurred in several parts of the provinces of Jakarta and West Java, according to the National Police.

Eleven Indonesians died on April 8 and several others are critically ill after drinking bootleg liquor, police said, days after the death of 24 others from illicit alcohol.

The country has been shocked by images of distraught relatives and lines of trolleys carrying bodies in hospital hallways.

They have confiscated huge quantities of alcohol.

He said production of illegal alcohol must be eradicated completely with a "scorched earth" campaign.

It's unclear how effective the crackdown will be.

Muslim-majority Indonesia imposes high rates of tax on alcohol, which sometimes leads to people turning to cheap homebrews.

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"The current incidence of rampant bootleg alcohol is because there is a need to drink but the product is not available in the legal market", he said.

The latest fatalities have been linked to drinks being distributed in plastic bags that according to analyses was 96% pure alcohol and laced with methanol and mosquito repellent.

Laboratory tests of black-market alcohol showed it contained methanol, police said. "Ginseng by itself is too hard", said the 28-year-old. "I felt limp and dizzy".

Deaths due to consuming bootleg alcohol is quite common since 2015 after Indonesia's Ministry of Trade banned the sale of alcohol in retail stores, convenience stores and kiosks in 2015.

Some governments warn travellers to the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok to be cautious about consuming local spirits and alcoholic beverages.

West Java police, who have arrested seven people suspected of mixing or selling tainted alcohol, said they have not found evidence to support that.

Deaths from such consumption are reported frequently, but the latest toll is among the highest in recent years.