Over 2,300 litres of illicit brew seized in Southern Province

On 3 January 2021 at 06:22

More than 2,300 litres of muriture, an illicit brew, have been seized from various illegal distilleries in the districts of Kamonyi, Gisagara, Huye and Nyanza.

This was during separate operations conducted jointly by the Police, local leaders and community policing groups on Friday, January 1.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Theobald Kanamugire, the Police spokesperson for the Southern region, said that the concurrent operations aimed at dismantling illegal distilleries, which produce illicit drinks.

"There were reports of increased production and consuption of muriture brew especially in the districts of Nyanza and Huye, which prompted the operations targeting specific homes and bars where they are reportedly distilled and sold," said SP Kanamugire.

"In Nyanza District, about 1,120 litres were found in nine homes in Kigoma Sector and 135 litres in other four homes in Busoro Sector.

In Huye District, 545 litres of muriture were seized from different homes in the sectors of Rwaniro, Rusatira and Mukura,” SP Kanamugire said.

Other 385 litres were seized from three homes in Kibirizi sector in Gisagara District while 120 litres were also found in other three homes in Kamonyi District.

"These were targeted operations following information that these homes were either being used as distilleries or bars selling illicit drinks on New Year’s Day.

Although operations against illicit brew have been ongoing, this is the first time in the past few years that we have seized such big quantity in a single day," the spokesperson explained.

He attributed the successful operations to residents, who provide information on distillers and sellers in their communities.

The spokesperson further advised distillers and sellers to channel their money into legal businesses rather than poisoning people with psychotropic substances and to prevent losses that come with imprisonment, financial penalties as well as disposing of the seized substances.

He reminded owners of bars that besides being criminal to distill, sell and consume illicit substances, it is also prohibited to operate bars in this period of the COVID-19 pandemic, to avoid further spread.

Illicit drinks are classified as simple drugs, under the Ministerial Order No.001/MoH/2019 of 04/03/2019 establishing the list of narcotic drugs and their categorisation.

In article 263 of the law determining offences and penalties in general, anyone convicted for simple drugs faces between seven and ten years in prison, and a fine of between Rwf5 million and Rwf10 million.