Separate operations conducted in the night of Thursday in the districts of Gicumbi and Nyabihu have arrested eight suspected drug traffickers as Rwanda National Police intensifies the crackdown to break the supply of illicit drugs.
Four people were arrested in each of the two separate operations conducted, through which four vehicles and a motorcycle transporting assortment of illicit drugs and smuggled goods were intercepted and impounded.
The intercepted drugs include 75 kilogrammes of cannabis seized in Nyabihu; 1870 dozens of zebra and chief waragi and 357 litres of Kanyanga, all illicit gin banned in Rwanda, intercepted in Gicumbi
The District Police Commander of Gicumbi, Supt. Steven Gaga said they received information from residents about two separate cases of drug dealings.
“We received a phone call from a resident in Rushaki Sector at about 7:00 pm about a Ugandan registered vehicle – UAV 468P – that could be transporting illegal goods. Police officers were immediately dispatched and the vehicle was intercepted in Nyaruhanga Village of Karurama Cell, and it was found loaded with 590 dozens of zebra waragi and 12 pieces of Bitenge – traditional wear,” Supt. Gaga said.
“Later in the night at about 2:00 am, we also received information from someone in Nyankenke Sector, where another vehicle plate number RAB 637G was using feeder roads and raised suspicion.
The suspicions became a reality when it was intercepted carrying 1280 dozens of chief waragi and 357 litres of kanyanga, and arrested all the four people on board,” he added.
He identified the suspects as Oswald Ndahimana, 32, Jean Claude Nsengiyumva, 31, Seven Xavier, 26, and Evalist Nsengiyumva, 35.
“Drug traffickers have, of recent, changed routes; previously, they were using highways but due to intensified snap-checks and roadblocks, they thought feeder roads would as well serve the purpose, especially in areas that border with Uganda. We are grateful that the people have maintained the rhythm of ownership on criminal activities and this should be a warning to those still involved that all parties and the people themselves remain awake against such,” Supt. Gaga warned.
Elsewhere, the DPC of Nyabihu, Supt. Alex Fata said the four other people arrested at about 3:00 am in Kora Cell of Bigogwe Sector with 75kgs of cannabis, were traveling in two separate vehicles and one motorcycle.
“We first intercepted a motorcycle TVS RC 661L rode by one Elysee Niyonsaba, and a Toyota Corolla RAB 804Y driven by one Jean Damour, which were in surveillance and acting as informers for Jean Paul Rurinda and Albert Niyonsenga, who were also traveling in another vehicle, Toyota Corolla RAC 459 that was trafficking 75kgs of cannabis, who were also arrested shortly after,” Supt. Fata said.
“We have intensified operations, roadblocks, snap-check and public awareness in communities and schools, and this have been vital in identifying, fighting and preventing crimes especially those related to illicit drugs, and arresting suspects,” said Fata.
Both Gicumbi and Nyabihu are labeled as transit routes for drug traffickers.
Rwanda National Police maintains that drug related crimes are tremendously going down and must be reduced further, it also maintains that by breaking the supply chain, they will be preventing consumption and ultimately ensure a drug-free society.
Fighting drug trafficking and abuse is among the RNP major priorities.