Illegal brewers surrender equipment

About thirty people from Kuminibis village, Maprik, have recently surrendered equipment and instruments used to brew homemade Calabash wine.

The surrender was part of an agreement reached by community leaders, mobile squad (MS) 13 and the Maprik Police during a mediation on June 20th following a community unrest that almost saw the closure of the Balupwina Primary School.

Investigation by police had 10 school boys face charges, and also led to the identification of the root of the riot, which was alcohol related.

The brewers and producers were given a three-day grace period starting on the 20th.

Community leaders, including ward councilors, said the surrender was a gesture of change by the community members but added that this issue has been going on for far too long.

Although a good number of producers had surrendered, Maprik police station commander, Damian Linus, believes there are a lot more out there.

“Due to no cooperation, we have no choice but to take the tougher stance to make immediate arrests and charges will be laid on those found brewing, consuming and selling the homebrewed wine,” he said.

MS13 Commander, Sergeant Tennyson Joseph, stated that the unrest was unlawful and homebrew is illegal.

He added that the distillation law now will ensure that one person found to be brewing illegal alcohol may face eight different charges, which will also cost him or her around K8,000 for bail.

Sergeant Joseph reiterated that the MS13 will not play around.

“If it means for the MS13 to take out raids and make arrests, we will ensure that no stone is left unturned,” he stressed.

“We are engaged by the Maprik DDA (district development authority) to work together with the Maprik Police to clean out Maprik and we will do just that.”

Press release