Police: Indonesia bootleg alcohol deaths exceed 100

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Police: Indonesia bootleg alcohol deaths exceed 100
In this Monday, April 9, 2018, photo, family move the body of a victim who died from drinking poisonous bootleg liquor at a hospital in Cicalengka, West Java, Indonesia. Indonesian authorities say more people have died from toxic bootleg liquor, raising the toll this month to nearly 80 and highlighting how attempts to curb legal alcohol appear to have tragically backfired. (AP Photo)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Police say recent deaths from drinking toxic bootleg alcohol in Indonesia have exceeded 100 and are vowing a renewed crackdown on producers and distributors.

Deputy National Police Chief Muhammad Syafruddin said Wednesday that deaths this month have been concentrated in West Java and Jakarta but there were also cases in South Kalimantan and other regions that easily bring fatalities to more than 100.

He told reporters, “I have ordered all the police chiefs in Indonesia to make these cases stop, zero victims, meaning to reveal the roots (of this problem).”

It’s unclear how effective the crackdown will be. High taxes and curbs on sales of legal alcohol in Muslim-majority Indonesia have created a black market for bootleg alcohol among the country’s poor.