An illegal distillery was yesterday destroyed in Rwamagana District.
During the joint operation on the distillery, owned by one Daniel Nkuraza, located in Kabeza, Kigabiro Sector, Police also seized over 5,000 empty bottles of Heineken, which Nkuraza had used to pack the illicit substances.
Also recovered in Nkuraza’s distillery were over3,000 empty bottles which he was at the time being refilled with the illicit drinks.
The substances were destroyed in public presided over by the mayor of Rwamagana, Rajab Mbonyumuvunyi, alongside the district police commander, Chief Inspector of Police ViateurMugambage.
The mayor warned residents against running illegal distilleries, and advised them to get licences that prescribe how best to make harmless and hygienic drinks.
“It is illegal and punishable by the law to make alcoholic substances without authorisation, which states the maximum alcoholic content, process of distilling, raw materials to be used and the set-up of the brewery as well as packing of such drinks. Otherwise, what we are witnessing here today is poison,” Mbonyumuvunyi said.
He further called for strengthened community night patrols and sharing of information with security organs on any unlawful acts in their localities.
CIP Mugambage warned that operations will continue, but thanked the existing partnership with the residents through which credible information on dealers is obtained and acted upon.
He appealed to the residents to report anyone involved in drug-related crimes, including traffickers and dealers in cannabis.
The seizure and destruction of the substances is part of the ongoing countrywide operations which start last year, by Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rwanda Standards Bureau (RSB) as well as local authorities, to close any illegal distillery and take legal action against those involved.
By the end of last year, close to 100 distilleries had been closed for either operating illegally or contrary to the set standards.
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.