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Over 400 liters of illicit brew impounded in Police crackdown in Rwamagana

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Kigali: Police in Rwamagana District have launched a crackdown on illegal alcohol to address the menace that can wreak untold havoc to many families and lives.

Police said the operation – on Tuesday, August 14 – was aimed at also breaking the network of illicit alcohol traders’ chains. These comprise of contraband goods or counterfeit materials that are used in brewing the dangerous intoxicants, allowing them to sell their product cheaply.

According to the police spokesperson for Eastern Region, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Theobald Kanamugire, the trade has the added effect of locking out “genuine dealers from the market”. In the Abakina village of Gishari Sector, police disposed of over 400 liters of illicit alcohol and impounded tens of materials used to package the drinks, which included used Heineken Beer bottles among others.

He said traders in the illegal substances also use contraband raw materials, like spirit and sugar, to distil their drinks and ingenuously pack them in recycled bottles, which they acquire from disposed of products from the beer retail economy.

Police and local authorities publically disposed of the illicit drinks and the materials used to manufacture, and package them while warning residents against involvement in such trade. “Any liquid substance that contains more than 0.5 percent of methanol in its composition is not supposed to be taken as it is deemed harmful to health,” said CIP Kanamugire.

"We must know its composition as well as the alcohol content; such products must have been cleared by relevant authorities without which there is no leeway to buy and sell prohibited drinks,” he added.

Officials requested area residents to desist from consuming and producing the dangerous substances that are a health hazard, and to share information about whoever are involved so as to prevent illnesses or bad health to unwitting drinkers.

Excessive abuse of alcohol and drug misuse has also been blamed for most incidences of gender-based violence, or violence against children in the community. Drugs and alcohol are also identified as significant contributors to poverty and other societal ills. (End)


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