12 dead in Indonesia after drinking toxic home-made liquor

At least 12 people died and three others were critically ill after drinking home-made liquor in Indonesia’s West Java province over the weekend, police said Tuesday.

The police on Monday arrested a married couple who allegedly produced and sold the liquor, known locally as oplosan, to residents in Subang district.

This is made known by Ariek Indra Sentanu, the local police chief.

He said the couple mixed the alcohol with lanarkite, a lead sulfate mineral, and copper phosphide which was used as rodent poison.

It created a dark grey liquid that they sold for about a dollar per litre, Sentanu said.

“They admitted that they had overdone the dosage of the mixture,’’ he said.

The police said the couple tried to flee after learning that some of their customers had died or fallen sick after drinking the liquor on Sunday night.

Oplosan is a cheap and popular alcoholic drink in Indonesia, where many people cannot afford licensed liquor.

However, oplosan can be dangerous or even fatal if it contains toxic substances such as methanol, formalin, or pesticides.

Hundreds die each year in Indonesia from alcohol poisoning as a result of consuming contaminated liquor, according to the World Health Organisation.

In April 2018, about 100 died and many more were hospitalised in Jakarta and neighbouring towns after drinking a bootleg liquor product.  (dpa/NAN)