Police also seized 1,985 liters of locally made illicit substances from the five suspects.
The operation is part of the strengthened fight against production and sell of illicit drinks, and to dismantle illegal distilleries.
If was facilitated by credible information from community policing partners in the area, according to Superintendent of Police (SP) Alphonse Mayinga, the District Police Commander for Nyaruguru.
“We are working with youth volunteers, DASSO and community policing committees to identify and arrest people involved in criminal activities. These include dealers in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. We are also combining operations with sensitization on awareness and prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic," SP Mayinga said.
The five men arrested are; Emmanuel Ntakirutimana caught with 610 liters; Janvier Manirakiza with 350 liters; Sylvester Bizimungu had 830 liters; Joseph Hakizimana with 100 liters, and Jean Claude had 95 liters.
According to SP Mayinga, these psychotropic substances pose a threat to human security.
“We have had cases of people, who turn violent after drinking illicit brew and becoming threats to the security of residents and their own families in particular.
That is not all, because during this period when everyone is urged to be vigilant, their clients remain exposed to the risk of contracting the Coronavirus, as they drink from closed up places where social distancing is not applied, neither are facemasks worn. Sometimes, they even drink from the same bottle,” the DPC observed.
Article 263 of the 2018 law determining offences and penalties in general, stipulates that producing, trafficking or selling simple narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances attracts a term of not less than seven years and not more than 10 years in prison, and a fine of not less than Rwf5 million and not more than Rwf10 million.
Alcoholic drinks produced without complying with standards and other laws; and chemical substances whose original intended use had been altered, and used as narcotic drugs are classified under simple narcotic drugs by a 2019 ministerial order establishing the categorization of drugs.