Due to strengthened police operations in Gicumbi Districts against drug trafficking, traffickers are said to be engaging minors as proxies in the criminal act, which is also a crime and punishable by the law.
On February 8, Police in intercepted a 16-year old boy in Byumba Sector with over 100 liters of a banned crude gin commonly known as Kanyanga.
The Northern region police spokesperson, Inspector of Police (IP) Innocent Gasasira, the boy together with others who fled, had been hired by adult traffickers to traffic the illicit gin.
“Investigations indicate that alleged trafficker, whom we have since identified but yet to be arrested, hires young boys to guise in his criminal dealings. Because the children cannot afford to carry big loads, he had hired about five boys, each carrying at least 20 litres and paying them Rwf5, 000 each,” IP Gasasira said.
A child, under article 217 of the penal code, means every human being under the age of eighteen years unless otherwise provided by other laws.
The spokesperson further noted that parents are also among the people, who engage the children in their criminal businesses, warning of severe consequences to whoever will be caught in such acts.
“It is a disgrace and criminal to manipulate and use these minors in dirty work instead of being in school. It is equally an act of nurturing criminals, which everyone should fight against because raising responsible citizens and fighting crimes in particular is a collective responsibility by all Rwandans,” he noted.
According to article 220 of the Rwanda penal code, engaging a child in narcotic drugs attracts an imprisonment of two to five years and a fine of Rwf1 million to Rwf5 million.