International Desk : 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.
West Java police spokesman Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko said Tuesday that deaths from three locations in the province now total 45. In Cicalengka, near the provincial capital of Bandung, nearly 100 people were hospitalized. Another 31 died earlier in the month in Jakarta and satellite cities.
High taxes on alcohol have spawned a black market for booze among the poor in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, where drinking alcohol is discouraged but not illegal under civil law. In 2015, the country banned sales of alcohol from tens of thousands of mini-marts and other small stores.