The distillery owned by one Protais Nsabimana, was operating in his house located in Kirebe Village, Nyarutembe Cell of Rugera Sector.
During the operations conducted on Thursday, August 6, Police and local leaders impounded over 2,700 litres of illicit brew, which they had already distilled.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson of Western region, said that one Nteziryayo Ntibategera, 33, whom Nsabimana had hired to oversee the production of the illicit substances, was arrested at the scene.
"Local residents provided information about a house that had been turned into a distillery producing illicit drinks.
Police and local authorities went to the said house and indeed found Nteziryayo producing the substances. He had already distilled over 2,700 litres in drums," CIP Karekezi said.
He added: "The place, raw materials as well as drums and other containers they were using; everything was so dirty that it raised health concerns for consumers."
Nteziryayo said that he was mixing sugar, Pakimaya and other substances to make the brew.
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 as a prerequisite; the 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.
All drinks with alcoholic content above 45 percent or with unknown alcoholic content is considered as a psychotropic substance.
“This is part of the ongoing operations against distillers and dealers in psychotropic substances. We are working in partnership with local leaders and the operations are largely based on credible information we receive from the public. The operations are meant to break the manufacturing and distribution chains,” CIP Karekezi said.
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.