The National, Thursday October 10th, 2013
By SHEILA MALKEN
PNG Customs and police in Eastern Highlands carried out an operation to discourage illegal wine-making in Unggai-Bena district.
The team raided the area and confiscated brewed products, equipment used and items following a tip off.
PNG Customs Commissioner Ray Paul said 12,400 litres of wine, valued at K104,000 were confisticated.
“The brewers have been operating for two years and that means that the state has foregone about K1 million in revenue,” Paul said
“Five wine samples were collected and sent to the PNG University of Technology‘s applied science department for testing and analysing.”
Paul said one sample tested resulted in very high alcohol content, of over 90%, while the standard alcohol content for wine was 10-18%.
“The other four samples were within the required alcohol standard for wine but recorded a very high count of bacteria.”
Paul said wine intended for human consumption had to be prepared in a clean environment, pasteurised and packaged clean containers.
He said this was not so in the case of the brewers – posing a great health risk to consumers.
Two men have been charged and they pleaded guilty to illegal brewing of alcohol.