By Scott Waide – EM TV, Lae
Three Lae women have been arrested for producing and distributing large quantities of illegal alcohol or steam.
Police raided the Kamkumung residence yesterday, after an earlier arrest of another woman who was intoxicated from steam allegedly sold by the three suspects.
According to police, it was a well-established operation. Police found several large plastic containers of fermenting homemade liquor buried in the yard. They also found one of the women distilling the alcohol using a gas burner.
“When we arrived, the gas burner was turned on and alcohol was being distilled,” said reserve constable, Keith Rogers.
Hundreds of litres of the homebrew were then poured out on to the ground. It is understood this operation, run by four women, supplied the whole of the Kamkumkung. With the high demand for cheap, potent alcohol, the stash confiscated had an estimated street value per week of at least K2000.
The husband of the woman behind the operation was also arrested. However, the key suspects, the women, escaped while police were confiscating the alcohol.
The Illegal alcohol is a major problem in Lae City, and has been the source of numerous alcohol-related killings and assaults in the city. Police police have raided several properties over the past two years; the lure of fast cash continues to spur production.