Nearly 50 Indonesians dead in April from bootleg liquor

Nearly 50 people have died after drinking bootleg alcohol in western Indonesia including the capital Jakarta in little more than a week.

In the latest incident, 17 people died between Thursday and early Monday in Cicalengka subdistrict near the West Java capital of Bandung.

Head of the state-run hospital in Cicalengka, Yani Sumpena, said Monday that 16 died at the hospital and one was dead on arrival.

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said another 31 people have died in Jakarta and its satellite the two cities of Depok and Bekasi in separate incidents since the start of this month.

High taxes on alcohol have spawned a black market for liquor among the poor in Indonesia, the world most populous Muslim nation. Potentially lethal ingredients including methanol are sometimes being implemented in bootleg recipes.

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