Anti-Narcotics Unit arrest Nyagatare kanyanga dealer

On 2 October 2020 at 03:54

The Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) of Rwanda National police has arrested one Venuste Habiyambere, 30, in Nyagatare District in connection with trafficking and distributing Kanyanga, a gin classified as ’psychotropic substance’ in Rwanda.

Habiyambere was arrested on Wednesday, September 30, in Nyabitekeri cell of Tabagwe sector with 100 litres of kanyanga.

ANU is a Rwanda National Police (RNP) unit charged with fighting narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

The Police spokesperson for the Eastern region, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana said ANU has been trailing Habiyambere following information from local residents that he is one of the major kanyanga dealers in Nyagatare, supplying local retailers.

"On September 30, a resident shared information that Habiyambere had brought more jerrycans of kanyanga from Uganda, ANU traced and arrested him. The 100 litres of kanyanga in five jerrycans were recovered in the neighbour’s kitchen.
The neighbour, who was out running personal errands, was not aware that Habiyambere was using his kitchen especially at night, as store," said CIP Twizeyimana.

According to the spokesperson, there was information that Habiyambere also deals in cannabis, although no such narcotics were found during the search.

Using children

Habiyambere admitted that he sneaks kanyanga into Rwanda from the neighbouring Uganda through illegal border points.

He further disclosed that he uses children or the youth to carry jerrycans of kanyanga from Uganda, in most cases at night, paying them Rwf3,000 per jerrycan delivered to the final destination.

"Trafficking and selling kanyanga is one thing and using children is another, which amounts to child labour, violation of their rights and manipulating them to engage in such drug related crimes for personal gains," CIP Twizeyimana said.

Kanyanga and other outlawed substances are classified as simple drugs.

Under article 263 of the law relating to offences and penalties in general, anyone convicted for simple drugs faces between seven and ten years in prison and a fine of between Rwf5 million and Rwf10 million.

However, if the crime involves using children, the penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of between Rwf30 million and Rwf50 million.