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Suspected Kingpin of Deadly Bootleg Liquor Operation Arrested

Police have arrested the main suspect in a spate of bootleg alcohol poisonings thought to have killed dozens across Indonesia, authorities said on Wednesday, April 18, with the booze kingpin facing life behind bars if he is convicted.

Samsudin Simbolon was caught on early Wednesday at a palm oil plantation in Sumatra, ending a nationwide search for a man whose bootleg operation allegedly killed as many as 50 people in neighbouring West Java.

“We will fly him to Jakarta tonight and then to Bandung,” West Java police chief Agung Budi Maryoto told AFP, referring to Simbolon.

The alleged bootleg liquor boss will be charged with selling dangerous goods which carries a maximum life term.

In total around 100 Indonesians are believed to have died because of tainted alcohol across the country since March while dozens more are in critical condition in the worst string of homebrew deaths in years.

Lab tests have turned up toxic levels of methanol – a form of alcohol used in antifreeze and solvents – in the victims’ systems.

Some of the other arrested suspects have confessed to mixing pure alcohol with Coca-Cola, energy drinks, cough syrup and even mosquito repellent.

The deaths in West Java – where Simbolon allegedly ran his illegal spirits operation – led the capital city Bandung to declare a state of emergency this month.

Source: Channel News Asia

Photo courtesy of Reuters

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