Homebrew-related deaths rising

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday August 08th, 2012

DEATHS, fights and accidents resulting from the consumption of homebrew are on the rise in West Sepik, the province’s top policeman says.
Provincial police commander Insp Michael Tilae said two separate homebrew-related deaths were reported to police on July 27.
He did not have statistics available.
Police said in the first incident two youths from Pes village, in inland west Aitape, punched and kicked another young man to death during a brawl after drinking homebrew.
In the second incident, a man from east Aitape killed another man when a fight erupted while they were drinking.
“Police are still investigating the killings,” Tilae said.
Tilae said police received reports from communities that homebrew was no longer distilled in the bush but in the family home with the knowledge of home owners.
“Adults are involved in this business,” Tilae said. 
“This is a serious problem. We cannot enter people’s homes unless we have a search warrant,” he said.
Police said there was high demand for the brew in the province, particularly among the youths.
Tilae said a small container of brew was selling for K10 while a 500ml Coke bottle of brew was going for K20.
He said that probably explained why many households were producing the drink.
Reports from villages in Nuku, Aitape, Lumi and Vanimo-Green indicated a rise in the activity.