EASTERN PROVINCE: Police foils drug traffickers

Police in partnership with other security organs and the public in Nyagatare and Kayonza districts, on Wednesday, October 20, foiled groups of traffickers, who were attempting to sneak 83kgs of cannabis and 33 litres of kanyanga, an illicit crude gin, into Rwanda.

Four suspected traffickers were arrested in the two separate operations.

At least 80kgs of cannabis were seized from traffickers, who were intercepted in Ndego Sector of Kayonza District. Other 3kgs of cannabis and 10 litres of kanyanga were seized in Rwempasha Sector, Nyagatare District.

More 23 litres were impounded in Nyagatare and Tabagwe sectors in Nyagatare District.

The Eastern region Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana said that the narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances were seized during the night operations.

On Wednesday at about 1am, cattle keepers in Ndego Sector called the Police after they saw a group of people crossing Akagera river to Rwanda from Tanzania, with sacks in a boat, which they suspected to be narcotics,” CIP Twizeyimana said.

Police, he added, acted swiftly to trail the boat to the shores of Kibare river.

On seeing the Police, the group, which was unloading two sacks of cannabis at Kibare shores, immediately jumped into their boat and fled in the same direction to Tanzania leaving the narcotics weighing 80kgs, which were impounded,” said CIP Twizeyimana.

He added that the duo of Dismas Nsabimana and Dan Manzi were arrested in Rwempasha Sector, attempting to sneak into Rwanda combined 3kgs of cannabis and 10 litres of kanyanga from Uganda.

In Nyagatare sector, God Kabagambe, 31, was arrested with 20 litres of kanyanga while one Eric Niyonshuti, 23, was arrested in Tabagwe sector with 3 litres of kanyanga.

CIP Twizeyimana warned against such criminal activities but lauded the impact of the public who share credible information to facilitate successful operations.

The suspects were handed over to RIB for further legal process.

Cannabis is classified as “very severe narcotic drugs” under the Ministerial order nº 001/MoH/2019 of 04/03/2019 establishing the list of narcotic drugs and their categorisation while Kanyanga is listed as “simple drugs.”

Article 263 of law No. 68/2018 of 30/08/2018 determining offenses and penalties in general states that any person, who unlawfully produces, transforms, transports, stores, gives to another or who sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, commits an offence.

Upon conviction for “simple drugs” the offender faces between seven and ten years in prison and a fine of Frw5 million to Frw10 million.

In case of “very severe drugs”, the offender faces between 20 years and life imprisonment, and a fine of between Frw20 million and Frw30 million.

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