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Operations against illicit brew intensified

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has intensified operations against illegal distilleries and dealers in illicit drinks.

In separate operations conducted on Sunday, Police seized over 700 litres of illicit brew in Ngoma and Nyagatare districts. The substances were disposed-of. 

Three people were arrested in the separate operations in connection with running illegal distilleries and producing psychotropic substances.

In Nyagatare, the substances were seized from a local distiller identified as Joseline Ukumutimubizi, 38, a resident of Musheri Sector. Two other people identified as Boniface Nzabandora, 34, and Aline Maniraguha, 24, were arrested in Karembo and Gashanda sectors, respectively, in Ngoma District where they were running illegal distilleries and selling illicit brew called Magwingi.

This came a day after another vehicle transporting 2,125 litres of illicit brew was impounded by the Police in Nyabihu District.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for the Eastern region, said the continuous operations are mainly based on information received from the public, reporting drug dealers in their communities.

“It is both to enforcement the law against illegal and substandard breweries and to destroy such distilleries that produce illicit substances which are harmful to consumers’ health,” CIP Twizeyimana said. 

He added: “If your neighbor is making or selling narcotic drugs, know that you are the immediate victim. Your husband, wife, or children will start using these substances; people will start fighting in the next house and drug addicts will start breaking into homes to steal.” 

CIP Twizeyimana said that the operations also fall in the overall line and continuous efforts to fight drug abuse with focus mainly on breaking chains of supply.

All drinks with alcoholic content above 45 percent or with unknown alcoholic content are considered as “psychotropic substance.”

Article 263 of Rwanda penal code stipulates that any person who, unlawfully, produces, transforms, transports, stores, gives to another or who sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances commits an offense, with a sentence upon conviction, ranging between seven years and life in prison, and a fine of between Rwf20 million and Rwf30 million.

Source: RNP

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