Two arrested for distilling illicit brew

On 7 September 2019 at 09:13

Two people were arrested Thursday in Karongi District for allegedly running illegal breweries and distilling illicit drinks.

The suspects identified as Scovia Kantengwa and Elias Sindambiwe were arrested in Rubengera Sector with 850 litres of illicit brew.

The substances were made out of mixed harmful products including industrial fertilizers.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Emmanuel Kayigi Police, the Police spokesperson for the Western region said that the duo was arrested in an operation conducted by Police officers and local leaders in Kibirizi Cell.

“Local residents had reported to their authorities about the illegal businesses by the two suspects, who in turn called the Police,” he said.

“When Police officers and local leaders conducted the operation, they seized 550 litres from Kantengwa’s distillery and 330 litres from Sindambiwe. Kantengwa was also found with 12kgs of industrial fertilizers and Sindambiwe with 20kgs, which they were using as ingredients,” added CIP Kayigi.

Industrial fertilizers are said to be poisonous. Touching the fertilizer may cause skin irritation, and ingesting it may be poisonous. Nitrates are the ingredients that cause the poisoning. Nitrates are a form of nitrogen that plants can easily absorb. Nitrogen is essential for plant growth, but it can be very dangerous when exposed to humans.

“Besides poisoning people with industrial fertilizers, which they were mixing with other harmful ingredients to make illicit substances; they were also wasting fertilizers meant for residents to increase crop production,” CIP Kayigi said.

All the seized substances were disposed of in presence of residents, where Police and local leaders also took the opportunity to educate them on dangers of consuming the illicit drinks and criminal repercussions to distillers as well as their role in fighting such criminal acts.

“There are standard, healthy and legal procedures to start a brewery, which also prescribes the raw materials that are not harmful to consumers, which should be followed; contrary to that it becomes our duty as police to enforce the law,” CIP Kayigi warned.