Three held as illicit gin is seized in police swoop

About 200 litres of kanyanga, a lethal gin banned in Rwanda, were seized in police operations conducted on Saturday in the districts of Bugesera, Rwamagana and Gicumbi as the Force continues the crackdown on drug abuse in the country.

About 200 litres of kanyanga, a lethal gin banned in Rwanda, were seized in police operations conducted on Saturday in the districts of Bugesera, Rwamagana and Gicumbi as the Force continues the crackdown on drug abuse in the country.

Police also arrested three people either making or selling the illicit gin and seized equipment including drums that the suspects were using to make the illicit liquor.

Kanyanga and other gin like chief waragi, Blue Sky, Suzie and locally made brew are classified as narcotic drugs in Rwanda under the law governing narcotics, psychotropic substances and precursors.

In article 24 of the Penal Code on ‘prohibition of unauthorised drinks,’ any drink that exceeds 45 per cent of alcohol and any other drink which does not have the required quality for consumption is considered as narcotic drug.

Article 594 of the penal code, stipulates that, any person who, unlawfully, makes, transforms, imports, or sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances within the country, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of three to five years and a fine ranging from Rwf500,000 to Rwf5 million or both.

“Fighting drug abuse remains among the Rwanda National Police’s top priorities and I am happy to say that the achievements so far registered in this campaign have been due to strong partnership with the public, who provide us with credible information leading to the arrest of the dealers,” Inspector of Police Emmanuel Kayigi, the Eastern region Police spokesperson, said.

“We are continuing with the fight to break the supply chain, but we are also sensitising the public about the dangers associated with the consumption and smoking of such hazardous substances as one of the ways to combat it,” he added.

Medics say such drugs affect the kidney and heart and slow down the way the body and brain function.

Police say these drugs, used mostly by the youth, have been the major cause of other domestic crimes such as assault, gender-based violence, and have contributed to school drop-outs and unwanted pregnancies.