Separate joint operations by the Police, local leaders and DASSO in different parts of the country on Monday, seized about 10000 litres of illicit brew.
The concurrent operations were conducted in eight districts; Bugesera, Rwamagana, Kayonza, Kirehe, Ngoma, Nyanza, Huye and Gakenke.
All the seized substances were disposed of in presence of residents as the Police and local leaders also took the opportunity to sensitize them on dangers of consuming substances, criminal repercussions to distillers as well as their community policing duty to report distillers.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Theobard Kanamugire, the Police spokesperson for the Eastern region where most substances were seized, warned that the “operations are continuous.”
“It is both enforcement of the law against illegal and substandard breweries but also to destroy such distilleries that produce illicit substances which are harmful to consumers’ health,” CIP Kanamugire said.
He added: “This also falls in the overall ideology and continuous efforts to fight drug abuse with focus mainly on destroying chains of supply.”
The joint operations by Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) against illegal breweries producing substandard and illicit substances were launched in November last year. At the time, about 80 illegal and substandard distilleries producing illicit substances were closed, with 45 of them in Eastern Province.
RSB specifies that “only food grade processing aids recognized as safe for human consumption shall be used during the manufacture.”
Other standard requirements include labeling (name of the products, physical and postal address of manufacturer); net contents in milliliters or liters; ethyl alcohol content; date of manufacture and expiry date; storage instruction; statutory warnings; and list of ingredients in descending order.
Article 263 of the new penal code partly states that “any person who, unlawfully produces, transforms, transports, stores, gives to another or who sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances commits an offence, with a sentence ranging from seven years to life in prison, upon conviction, and a fine of between Rwf20 million and Rwf30 million.
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