The Rwanda National Police (RNP) intensified operations to crackdown on drug dealers led to the arrest of three men in the City of Kigali, who had allegedly sneaked about seven sacks of cannabis into the country.
The three men identified as Antoine Nizeyimana, Issa Dusabyimana and Augustine Hategekimana, were arrested red-handed on April 19 at Giti K’inyoni in Nyarugenge District, where a Fuso truck registration number RAC 914Y, which was loaded with the narcotic drugs was intercepted by the anti-narcotics unit.
The trio was paraded before the media on April 21, at the RNP General Headquarters in Kacyiru.
Addressing journalists on the arrest, RNP spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Theos Badege, said that police had received information from residents reporting the same truck that was headed to Kigali from Rubavu, loaded with illegal goods.
“At about 7pm on April 19, based on credible information from members of the public, officers found the truck supplying other drug dealers at Giti k’inyoni,” ACP Badege said.
“The prime suspect, Nizeyimana, who had allegedly trafficked the drugs from DRC, Hategekimana, who had bought a sack from him, and a motorcyclist (Musabyimana) who was transporting his (Hategekimana) sack, were immediately arrested at the scene,” ACP Badege said.
The motorcycle that was at the time being used to transport the sack of cannabis, was also impounded.
“When officers searched the vehicle, they recovered over 12, 000 rolls of cannabis packed in plastic bags and concealed in seven sacks. They also recovered in the same truck quantities of smuggled liquor in different brands.”
Police said the intercepted drugs are worth over Rwf25 million.
“This arrest, on one side, signifies the significance of partnership and timely information, and also a strong warning to whoever is still involved in this criminal act,” said the spokesperson.
He advised drug dealers to channel such big sums of money into lawful ventures “rather than burning it in criminal businesses and sinking in heavy loses.”
Same smuggling routes, ACP Badege said that they are the same routes used by drug traffickers.
Meanwhile, the ringleader, Nizeyimana confirmed police reports of rackets that traffics cannabis from DRC, stores them somewhere in Rubavu before it is transported in Kigali in small quantities where it is sold to other wholesalers and retailers.
Nizeyimana is suspected to be part of the racket.
The three suspects, meanwhile, who confessed to the crime, asked for leniency.
“The normal process is that we first look for market, then traffic the drugs into Rubavu and use different means to deliver to our customers, especially at night,” Nizeyimana told reporters.
ACP Badege warned that RNP will continue with such operations and investigations to break criminal networks and have them prosecuted.
If convicted, the trio could be sentenced to tens years in prison and a fine of up to Rwf10 million each.