Nyirakabanza was arrested on Tuesday, November 10, in Ryambungira Village of Gakingo Cell in Shingiro Sector alongside her casual employee called Emerence Muragijimana, 22.
Muragijimana was allegedly helping Nyirakabanza in searching for customers and delivery. Muragijimana was also, at the time, negotiating with a guised buyer of the very severe drugs.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Alexis Rugigana, the Police spokesperson of the Northern region, said that ANU trailed Nyirakabanza after getting information that she is a major drug dealer and mainly supplying retailers in City of Kigali.
“A community policing partner in Kigali told ANU about Nyirakabanza’s suspected criminal dealings. ANU later learnt that she had a new consignment of cannabis, they trailed her to Musanze where she was arrested alongside Muragijimana with a bundle containing 6,500 pellets of the drug,” CIP Rugigana said.
“A guised buyer was supposed to pay FRW1.2 million for the 6,500 pellets of cannabis when ANU reined in and arrested the duo red-handed,” he added.
Nyirakabanza, a resident of Musanze, disclosed that she is supplied by big dealers from Gisenyi, Rubavu District before she also distributes to other cannabis retailers in Kigali.
It is said that Nyirakabanza and other members of her family have been dealing in the “very severe drugs” for a while now. A court in Musanze District, last year, convicted Nyirakabanza’s daughter for the same crime after she was found with 300 pellets of cannabis.
CIP Rugigana hailed the community policing spirit of the informer, who facilitated the successful operation.
“Increased successful operations against major drug dealers are facilitated by credible information shared by members of the public. We remind drug dealers that the ultimate price for drug dealing is long term imprisonment if they don’t quit the criminal business of poisoning people, especially the young ones, who constitute the majority of victims,” said the spokesperson.
Cannabis is listed as a "very severe drug" in Rwanda, alongside cocaine, opium and heroin, under the Ministerial Order No. 001/MoH/2019 of 04/03/2019 establishing the list of narcotic drugs and their categorisation.
Article 263 of the law determining offences and penalties in general specifies that anyone convicted for "severe narcotic drugs" faces a life imprisonment and a fine of between FRW 20, 000,000 and FRW 30, 000,000.