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Indonesian police steamroller alcohol before Ramadan


SURABAYA (INDONESIA)  - Indonesian police Wednesday used a steamroller to crush thousands of bottles of alcohol and torched a huge stash of seized drugs ahead of Ramadan in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.

Islam's holiest month is due to begin this weekend, with observant Muslims across the world abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and sex between sunrise and sunset.

Indonesian authorities typically make a show of seizing large quantities of drink and destroying it in the run-up to Ramadan in a reminder to Muslims to abstain from drinking alcohol, which is against Islamic law.

In the second-biggest city of Surabaya, on Java island, authorities used an steamroller to crush about 10,000 bottles of alcohol in a public display in the courtyard of a police station.

The destroyed haul included many bottles of the national beer, Bintang, as well as other ales and clear plastic containers of homemade liquor, which can be dangerous as it is often mixed with toxic substances.

The beer was being sold at unlicensed premises while the homemade brew was illegally produced.

Local police spokeswoman Lily Djafar said the alcohol was confiscated "in the month before Ramadan during an operation across Surabaya".

Police in the city also incinerated a large quantity of seized narcotics, including thousands of ecstasy pills and 17 kilograms (37 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine.

Similar operations have been carried out in other parts of Indonesia in recent days, including the capital Jakarta.

About 90 percent of Indonesia's 255 million inhabitants are Muslim, and most practise a moderate form of Islam. Alcohol is available in major cities and holiday destinations and the country is home to many bars and nightclubs.

However during Ramadan, nightspots close for the whole month in many parts of Indonesia. In Jakarta they usually shut for a short period, at the start of the holy month and the end.

Hardline groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front have been known to raid bars and clubs that stay open during Ramadan, although police have warned against any such vigilante activities this year.

Ramadan begins when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. It ends with the Eid al-Fitr holiday, a major family event marked by feasting and celebration.



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Muslim Global: Indonesian police steamroller alcohol before Ramadan
Indonesian police steamroller alcohol before Ramadan
Muslim Global
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