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The Pub with No Booze

Indonesia Customs & Excise Dept. Halts Liquor and Wine Imports Following Discovery of Duty Stamp Falsification.

(8/11/2007) A number of hotels and retail outlets across Bali are complaining of an increasingly critical shortage of wines and spirits posing a risk that holidaymakers to Bali may soon be without the liquid wherewithal for merrymaking.

According to a report in the Indonesian language DenPost, the Indonesian Customs and Excise Department have banned the import of all imported alcoholic beverages following the recent discovery of a smuggling ring using illegal duty stamps.

A number of leading hotels are complaining that new supplies of alcohol have been problematic for the past two months and supplies of wine and spirits are now in short supply. Meanwhile, the shortage is being manifested at local retail outlets where wine and spirits are largely missing from shelves with some shops closing there doors, at least temporarily.

Press reports indicate that a major importer/distributor of wines and spirits has lost its operating license in the wake of a shake-up in the Indonesian Customs and Excise Department and the uncovering of a smuggling operation using falsified duty stamps.

In the height of a continuing high season and major conferences facing the prospect of welcoming cocktail receptions minus the cocktails, hoteliers have called on the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) to petition the Government to help overcome the impending shortage of booze at local pubs and hotel.

Efforts by DenPost to obtain comments and confirmation of the current lack of wine and spirits in Bali from three main official distributors were unsuccessful.