In security operations conducted in Gisagara and Huye, police shut down fourteen illegal breweries that were distilling illicit brew known as muriture.
Muriture, which is classified as a narcotic drug, contains mixed industrial fertilizers, grounded bricks, water, sugarcane residues, banana juice, water and sugar.
Police also seized about 3,770 litres of the beverage, and took the owners of the breweries into custody. 3,320 litres were seized in Mukindo Sector in Gisagara District, where thirteen distilleries were dismantled and their owners arrested. Another man distilling muriture was arrested in Kigoma Sector in Huye, where 450 litres and raw materials were seized.
All the seized substances were disposed of in the presence of residents, where police and local leaders also took an opportunity to inform them on dangers of consuming the illicit beverages as well as their role in reporting distillers.
“This is a continuous operation against illegal distilleries and illicit drugs in general,” said CIP Emmanuel Kayigi, the police spokesman for the Southern Province.
The operations are part of a wider campaign by the government and the police to raise community awareness on all sorts of narcotic drugs which are a major obstacle to youth development and affect education in particular.
“There are standard and legal procedures to start a brewery, which also prescribes the raw materials that are not harmful to consumers, which should be followed,” Kayigi said.
Late last year, the police and the Rwanda Standards Bureau (RSB) started operations against illegal distilleries, and more than 80 of them have been closed for either operating illegally or not meeting standards.
Last month, RSB announced that it had suspended all distilleries without the S-Mark – Standard Mark. As of October last year, there were only 12 licensed distilleries that met all the requirements.