Separate security operations conducted in Gisagara and Huye districts on Sunday demolished fourteen illegal breweries that were distilling illicit brew, known locally as Muriture.
Muriture, which is classified as a narcotic drug in Rwanda, is made out of mixed industrial fertilizers, brick powder, water, sugarcane pulp, banana juice, water and sugar among others.
Police also seized about 3770 litres of the illicit drink from the “breweries”, whose owners were also taken into custody.
At least 3320 litres were seized in Mukindo Sector of Gisagara District alone, where thirteen illegal distilleries were destroyed and owners arrested.
Another suspect was arrested in Nyabisindu Cell of Kigoma Sector in Huye District after he was found distilling the same drink.
Police also recovered about 5,000 used bottles of Heineken beer, which it said Twagirayezu was using the pack and sell the psychotic substances.
All the seized substances were disposed of in the presence of residents, where Police and local leaders also took the opportunity to inform them on dangers of consuming the illicit drinks and criminal repercussions to distillers as well as their role in reporting distillers.
“This is a continuous operation against illegal distilleries and to fight illicit drugs in general,” Chief Inspector of Police Emmanuel Kayigi, the Police spokesperson for the Southern Province, said.
The operations come at the time when the Government and Rwanda National Police (RNP) are intensively engaged in community awareness programmes and operations against all sorts of narcotic drugs cited as a major obstacle to youth development and affecting the education sector in particular.
“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 said.
Late last year, RNP and Rwanda Standards Bureau (RSB) started operations against illegal distilleries, with at least 80 of them closed for either operating illegally or contrary to the set standards.