Police arrest alleged key figure in Indonesia alcohol deaths

Indonesian police have arrested the alleged head of a bootleg liquor empire following the deaths of dozens of people this month from drinking tainted alcohol.

West Java police spokesman Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko said Samsudin Simbolon was captured early Wednesday in a palm oil plantation bordering South Sumatra and Jambi provinces.

Trunoyudo said, “The official announcement about him would be held on Thursday after he is interrogated.”

Police say Simbolon produced bootleg liquor in the West Java district of Cicalengka where at least 45 people died since the beginning of April.

Some 100 people have died in Indonesia this month from drinking toxic alcohol, with the deaths concentrated in West Java and the capital, Jakarta.

Potentially lethal methanol can be a byproduct of home brewing.

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