Bar owner arrested over serving alcohol to minors

On 27 December 2019 at 03:33

A bar owner in Remera Sector of Ngoma District was arrested on Christmas Day for serving alcoholic beverages to minors.

The arrest of Theophile Ndaruhutse came after Police and local leaders found three boys at his bar called Chez Ndaruhutse, drinking alcohol.

The three boys all aged 17, were also drunk at the time, Police said.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, Police spokesperson for the Eastern region said that "Ndaruhutse put his business ahead of the health and rights of the three minors."

"When law enforcement organs were conducting their usual patrols they found three boys in Ndaruhutse’s bar drinking. They were served by Ndaruhutse himself, a crime he was arrested to answer in courts of law," CIP Twizeyimana said.

Article 27 of law on child protection, states that any person, who offers a child alcoholic beverages or tobacco, commits an offense.

A person, who sells alcoholic beverages or tobacco to a child, causes or encourages a child to drink alcoholic beverages, to smoke or to go to bars commits an offence. Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than three months but less than six months and a fine of between Rwf100, 000 and Rwf200, 000.

CIP Twizeyimana observed that "bar owners take advantage of such festivities to make money without taking into consideration the law and the prohibited age group."

"By serving alcohol to children, the suspect violated their rights l, and broke the law despite several warnings issued by Rwanda National Police as well as other law enforcement organs and concerned authorities against selling or serving alcoholic beverages to minors," CIP Twizeyimana said.

"Vigilance in child protection is needed especially in this festive period when children tend to drink alcohol, smoke and abuse drugs as a way of celebrating."

“Owners of bars are reminded to allow minors in their premises only when they are in company of responsible relatives or guardians, and ensure that they are not served alcohol or enticed to engage in other malpractices like abusing drugs, smoking or being lured into sexual acts, especially girls," the spokesperson emphasized.

He also appealed to parents and guardians to monitor their children to ensure they are in the "right place at the right time."