The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Police Intercept Illicit Liquor Worth Rwf5 Million

The Rwanda National Police (RNP) has intercepted 34 cartons of waragi (456 bottles) in Bugesera district and arrested one person in connection with the smuggled gin.

The bottles were seized, last week, at a roadblock mounted by police in Kibungo cell, Ntarama sector.

The suspect, whom Police said is 33 years old, is currently detained at Ntarama Police Post.

Chief Waragi, which is sneaked into the country from the neighbouring countries, is in the category of narcotic drugs, which are illegal in Rwanda.

Under the current laws on narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors, "any drink that exceeds 45 per cent of alcohol content or does not have the required quality for consumption, shall be considered as a narcotic drug."

Supt. Claude Tembo, the district Police commander, said the suspect was headed to Kigali where he had a potential buyer.

"He was transporting the illegal brew on a motorcycle. He was arrested with 34 boxes of chief waragi. At first, he tried to escape when he saw a Police roadblock," said Supt. Tembo.

His arrest follows other operations conducted in the district where other thousands of litres of illicit brew were recovered recently and some dealers arrested.

Supt. Tembo also disclosed that 2,260 litres of illicit brew, which include 1,860 litres brewed from sugarcane residues called molasses, was seized recently in Ruhuha sector.

Fruits of community policing

"We also seized 440 pieces of plastic bags and cannabis. All this was possible because of the existing good partnership with the community, who give us information on the suspected dealers," he explained.

"We have been conducting awareness campaigns against crime, particularly drug abuse. A number of people have been arrested based on the commitment of residents to ensure safety in their localities. We believe it is a matter of time before other people that still indulge in such acts are arrested," he added.

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