Indonesian police continue to clamp down on Papua's liquor producers

Indonesian police continue to clamp down on Papua's liquor producers

On Tuesday evening (July 7, 2020), police officers in Mimika District arrested Dani alias DM, 37, for allegedly making and selling an alcoholic drink called "sopi".(ANTARA/Polres Mimika)

Y is still being hunted down
Timika, Papua (ANTARA) - Indonesian police in Papua continue to crack down on liquor producers and sellers, with police officers in Mimika arresting Dani, alias DM, 37, Tuesday evening, for allegedly making and selling an alcoholic beverage called "sopi".

Another suspect, only identified as Y, 40, managed to escape the police raid operation.

"Y is still being hunted down," Mimika Police Chief Adjunct Sen. Coms. IGG Era Adhinata informed local journalists here, Wednesday.

The local policemen raided DM's house after receiving a tip-off from local residents that DM and Y regularly produced distilled liquor. The raid operation resulted in the seizure of 15 liters of "sopi" that the suspects stored in a 20-liter jerry can, he revealed.

The police investigators also confiscated several equipment, including a kerosene stove, distillation pipe, and three metal drums, used to produce the traditional liquor, he stated.

Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw was also involved in a recent crackdown on a "sopi" maker in the Wania forest area of Kaugapu Village, Mimika Timur Sub-district.

Waterpauw instructed the local policemen to enforce the law against liquor producers in the sub-district area and urged local authorities to adopt a more serious approach in handling liquor-related cases.

A local liquor manufacturer confessed to police investigators of receiving Rp2 million by producing 20 liters of "sopi" daily.

The Papuan government had effectively banned the production, distribution, and sales of alcoholic beverages since 2016 in accordance with Regional Government's Regulation Number 15 of 2013.

Regional Government's Regulation Number 15 of 2013 is touted to be able to protect Papuans from the harmful effects of alcohol consumption, such as loss of consciousness and engaging in acts of domestic violence and crimes.

According to ANTARA, the consumption of alcoholic beverages among local community members may have also played a role in reducing the life expectancy of native Papuans.

Taking into account the harmful effects of liquor consumption, native Papuans are expected to develop a collective awareness of the dire need to support the liquor ban by supervising the sales of alcoholic beverages at minimarkets and kiosks.

Being sentient of the dangers, Chairperson of the Papuan Women's Solidarity (SPP) - Mimika Chapter Ros Namsa Kabes had also urged the Mimika district government and local police to enforce legal sanctions against those selling liquor to Papuan children.

Law enforcement was deemed crucial since people in an inebriated state were often found along the roadsides of Timika, the capital city of Mimika District, Kabes pointed out. Related news: West Papua has successfully controlled COVID-19: Task Force

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