"I am concerned and convey my deep condolences over the dead victims, whose count has increased to 45 in an hour," West Java Police Chief Inspector General Agung Budi Maryoto remarked at the Atmosphere Cafe in Bandung on Tuesday.
Maryoto noted that dozens of deaths were reported from Cicalengka, Bandung, and Sukabumi. However, Cicalengka has witnessed the highest number of deaths due to consumption of bootleg liquor.
"We identified 35 victims in Cicalengka Sub-district, four victims in Bandung, and in Sukabumi District, especially in Pelabuhan Ratu, six victims were found dead," he remarked.
The regional police have arrested sellers of bootleg liquor in the three areas.
Samples of bootleg liquor have also been sent to the Drug and Food Control Agency and forensics for evaluation.
"We have taken the blood and urine samples along with that of the drink. They have been dispatched to the forensics laboratory, and we will get the results in three or four days," he stated.
Based on the initial investigation, bootleg liquor is re-formulated by the buyers. In fact, they did not hesitate to add cough medicine and anti-mosquito lotion in the blend.
Furthermore, the police will investigate this case, starting from the sellers, who have been arrested, to reveal the ringleader of the bootleg alcohol-making scam.
Earlier, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan had expressed concern over the bootleg liquor case that had claimed the lives of 23 people out of the 58 patients being treated at two hospitals in Cicalengka Sub-district, Bandung District, West Java.
"I urge all parties, especially the police, to pay full attention to this case," he noted at the State Building in Bandung on Tuesday.
Reported by Asep Firmansyah