Ahead of the start of Ramadan next week, police across Indonesia have launched sweeps cracking down on illegal alcohol sales and ensuring a pious beginning to the fasting month.
West Kalimantan police confiscated and destroyed 12,978 bottles of liquor set to be illegally traded. The alcohol allegedly came from Malaysia.
“We destroyed more than ten thousand bottles. There’s a high probability that these came from Malaysia and will be sold in West Kalimantan,” West Kalimantan Police Chief Erwin Triwanto said, as quoted by Okezone.
The bottles had been brought into West Kalimantan aboard three trucks and are proof of violations of both food trading regulations, Triwanto said. The bottles were destroyed under the provision of the district court.
The three truck drivers could be charged under the 2014 trading law, or a 2012 law on food.
Local police will continue to conduct patrols, particularly in areas known to be hubs of illegal alcohol sales, ahead of Ramadan, Triwanto said.
A similar sweep in Kuantan Singingi district in Riau netted illegal alcohol, including Bintang and Guinness beer products.
“The police confiscated dozens of liquor bottles during the operation,” Kuantang Singingi Police Chief Dasuki Herlambang said, as quoted by Okezone.
Police also confiscated non-excised cigarettes during the operation.
The Kuansing Police have vowed the ensure the community remains clear of alcohol, cigarettes and other vices during the religious month.
While not all Indonesians observe the fasting month, local regulations and zealous authorities see raids and sweeps begin in the weeks leading up to the start of Ramadan and throughout the month. While selling alcohol is not illegal in Indonesia, authorities use illegal trading laws to support the sweeps.
Image credits: Krakatau Radio