Ahead of the Hindu Balinese New Year, Nyepi, police are on the hunt for unlicensed arak, a favorite spirit among Balinese commonly bootlegged on the island.
Buleleng Police in North Bali say they are intensifying raids on arak before the holiday, which falls on March 28 this year and is also referred to as the “Day of Silence” since everyone must keep noise down and stay inside.
“Sabhara Police officers have intensified raids, along with units from each police station,” Buleleng Police spokesman, Insp. Nyoman Suartika said in Singaraja on Saturday, as quoted by Tribun Bali.
Suartika says police will be targeting a number of warungs that have previously been found to sell arak, in both the regency’s urban and rural areas.
Police have already confiscated hundreds of liters of arak since they started their raids, according to the police spokesman.
The main point of clearing out illegal arak ahead of Nyepi is to make sure the holiday goes smoothly, so police can maintain peace and order, says Suartika, adding that when consumed, arak can cause friction and make things escalate quickly.
“We urge the community to keep order. Do not do things that can provoke disputes or cause quarrels amongst the public,” Suartika said.