The Southern region Police spokesperson, Superintendent of Police (SP) Theobald Kanamugire said that the brews were seized from separate distillers and sellers in the three districts, who were reported by area residents.
"Four people were arrested in Tumba, Ruhashya and Huye sectors in Huye District with 650 litres of muriture. They are Jean Marie Vianney Uhagaze, Goreth Nyirampakaniye, Seraphine Mukagasana and Jonas Nshimiyimana," SP Kanamugire said.
He added: "In similar operations conducted by the Police and local leaders in Ruhango and Nyanza districts; three people were caught with 290 litres. They are Alphonse Ngendahimana arrested in Ruhango Sector and the duo of Alphred Uwizeyimana and Eric Niyomugabo apprehended in Nyagisozi Sector, Nyanza District in possession of found of 100 litres and 120 litres, respectively."
He warned against producing, selling and consuming such harmful substances.
"Muriture is classified as a simple narcotic drug because it is harmful to consumers. Its alcoholic content and products used are either unknown or they are not authorized for human consumption. Again, these are also illegal distilleris operating in unhygienic places using dirty containers which makes it a healthy concern," SP Kanamugire observed.
As Rwanda continues to fight the pandemic of Covid-19, these remote bars selling illicit brew as well as those producing the substances can also be the source of spread.
Moreover, bars are still closed to prevent related social gatherings seen to be another means of Covid-19 spread.
Article 5 of the Ministerial order Nº 001/MoH/2019 of 04/03/2019 establishing the list of narcotic drugs and their categorisation classifies alcoholic drinks produced without complying with standards and other laws; on the list of simple narcotic drugs.
Article 263 of the law determing offences and penalties in general states that; any person who, unlawfully produces, transforms, transports, stores, gives to another or who sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, commits an offence.
Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and not more than ten years and a fine of not less than Rwf5 million and less than Rwf10 million in regard to "simple narcotics."
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