A couple has been arrested after the homemade alcohol they sold to a wedding party in West Java left 14 people dead and four in a critical condition.
The incident took place in the West Java town of Subang over the weekend, with wedding guests consuming the drink on the Saturday night. Over the next days, the health of those who drank it rapidly deteriorated.
News outlet Jakarta Globe reports that one individual, 30-year-old Feri Riana, experienced a headache and extreme nausea on the Sunday and was then admitted to hospital on Monday. Riana told reporters on Wednesday that he was “feeling much better now”.
However, the bootleg drink has claimed the lives of at least 14 people, many of them very young, including 20-year-old Muhamad Rizki Hadiza.
His mother, referred to as ‘Piping’, said: “I received the devastating news from my relative in Subang while I was in Lombok. My eldest son has passed away. I hope there are no more victims. As for the alcohol sellers, I trust law enforcement authorities to handle the case.”
In addition to arresting the unnamed couple who sold the alcohol to the wedding, local police have also reportedly obtained a sample of it.
While Indonesia is a largely Islamic country, with approximately 87% of residents identifying as Muslim, alcoholic drinks are still available, though more-so in large cities. According to the data compiled by the Centre for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS), 546 people in the country died from consuming bootleg alcohol between 2014 and 2018. Some have suggested introducing a more formalised prohibition to stop this trend.