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By Robert L. Iroga

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (January 6, 2002 - Solomon Star/PINA Nius Online)---Solomon Islands Police raided, destroyed and seized property of a Kwaso (home brew) factory at Agape near the west Honiara suburb of White River.

Fifteen officers raided the factory after police monitored it for some time and concluded it was the main cause of disorder in the community.

The officer commanding the White River Police Post, Michael Ramosaea, said the raid was a relief for most residents of White River, whose youths always caused trouble whenever they drank Kwaso.

He said: "Almost all the problems caused here stemmed from Kwaso drinkers."

This is because Kwaso is cheap aand anybody can afford it, he added.

"Even if you have SI$ 10 (US$ 1.82), you will be drunk," Mr. Ramosaea said.

During their raid, officers posed as civilians, and went to the factory and bought two bottles of Kwaso.

After they bought the bottles, they alerted the rest of the policemen, who were waiting, and they then raided the area and seized all the belongings.

The haul was worth thousands of dollars.

Three men were arrested and are believed to be the owners of the illegal brewery.

Mr. Ramosaea said they had encountered a little resistance from one of the men, otherwise it was a successful operation. There were no injuries.

The officers seized buckets, drums, and other apparatus used to make Kwaso.

Mr. Ramosaea said: "We will monitor these people and if they start it again, we will take further, but tougher action."

One of the officers said 90 percent of the problems in the White River community were caused by the drinking of Kwaso.

"Those who drink properly manufactured beer behaved well when they party, but it was the Kwaso drinkers who always caused problems when they take it," he said.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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