Thanks to the Indonesian government’s restrictive laws on alcohol production and distribution, illegal (and often fatally dangerous) liquor is big business here, perhaps even bigger than we previously imagined.
Yesterday, the police raided an illegal liquor factory and warehouse located in the Mandala housing complex in Depok’s Cimanggis district. The illegal booze was apparently being produced and stored in a luxurious three-story home owned by a 70-year-old woman named Harkun. Police say they seized two trucks full of alcohol from the house.
Depok Police Chief Commissioner Dwiyono admitted that the house had actually been raided before in the past, but, somehow, managed to remain operational. Locals continued to complain about the house, saying they could often smell the pungent aroma of alcohol emanating from inside.
Police believe that the house was the largest manufacturer of illegal liquor in all of Depok. It even had large water tanks to facilitate the mass production of fake booze.
“They actually processed raw materials into fake alcoholic beverages,” Dwiyono said as quoted by Tempo.
Depok Police Commissioner Teguh Nugroho said the house has been used as a liquor factory for about 3 years. He noted that the house was disturbingly located adjacent to a place of worship.
“The factory was less than 100 meters from a mosque,” he said.
Police said that the liquor made in the house was distributed throughout South Jakarta and around Depok. During the raid, they seized about 1 ton of illegally produced liquor, including many that had been fashioned into bottles of foreign brands such as Chivas Regal, Johnnie Walker, Hennessy and Jack Daniels.
In December, seven people died after drinking tainted alcohol in Depok. It is not clear if the alcohol could have come from this factory, but deaths due to tainted alcohol are a fairly regular occurrence in Jakarta.