The Rwanda National Police (RNP) Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime (ASOC) department, on Tuesday, June 6, discovered a house located in Murindi village, Kabeza cell of Kanombe sector in Kicukiro District, which was used as store for smuggled wines and liquors.
Police seized 474 bottles of assorted smuggled spirits and wines from the house, which are valued at over Frw19 million. Three people, including a mother and her son as well as a taxi-moto operator, have since been arrested in connection with the act.
The impounded liquor and wine brands include 168 bottles of Savannah, 29 boxes of Drostdy wine, Double Black (24), Hennessy (23), Jack Daniel (23), Jameson (20), Black label (18), Baileys (17), Martelle (15) and Camino (12).
Others include 12 bottles of Amarura, 12 bottles of Vodka, Conintreau (10), Hendrick (10), Glenddich (9), Red label (7), Saphire (07), Moet (06), Martin (06), Chivas (5), Veuve Cliequot (4), Sherdidans (3), Tequila Patrol (1) and Courvoisier (1).
Superintendent of Police (SP) Sylvestre Twajamahoro, the Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali, said that Police first arrested a taxi-moto operator, who was being used to supply the wines and spirits.
"There was information about a taxi-moto operator, who was supplying smuggled wines and liquors in Kigali. He was on Tuesday intercepted at Rwandex transporting five bottles of liquor, and disclosed his boss," SP Twajamahoro said.
The commercial motorcyclist later led the Police to a rental house in Kabeza used as store, where the rest of the consignments were recovered.
"The two alleged owners of the liquors and wines, a mother and her son, were arrested at the store. The woman was already on the list of those suspected of smuggling liquors into Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo," SP Twajamahoro said.
Her daughter was also arrested recently after she was found with another big store of smuggled wines and spirits, in Kabeza.
"They were smuggling the liquors into Rwanda from DRC, mainly through Rubavu District, before sneaking them in Kigali and selling them on black market," said SP Twajamahoro.
Previous operations against liquor smugglers
On April 10, this year, ASOC intercepted a vehicle at Kinamba, Kacyiru Sector in Gasabo District transporting 30 boxes of Drostdy, 112 bottles of Jameson, Remy Martin, Veuve, Baileys, Tequilas and Hennessy.
Also on April 21, ASOC busted a house in Kabeza, where 406 bottles of assorted smuggled wines and spirits were recovered.
In October last year, ASOC also seized about 700 bottles of smuggled wines, spirits and beers worth Frw50 million, from a house in Gisenyi town, Rubavu District
Article 87 of the law on tax procedures, provides an imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years, for tax evasion.