Narcotics seized in Nyanza, Gicumbi destroyed

On 24 September 2021 at 07:48

Assorted narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances including cannabis, khat and illicit gins, which were seized from dealers in separate Rwanda National Police (RNP) operations conducted in Nyanza and Gicumbi districts, have been destroyed.

In Nyanza District, the public destruction exercise of 43kgs of cannabis and 329 litres of kanyanga, a crude illicit gin, was held on Tuesday, September 21.

The psychotropic substances were seized in a period of one year in the sectors of Busasamana, Muyira, Cyabakamyi, Nyagisozi and Ntyazo.

The Southern region Police spokesperson, Superintendent of Police(SP) Theobald Kanamugire, said that these are "positive results of community policing."

Eugene Uwumukiza from National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) said that penalties for dealing in drugs were increased as part of the national efforts to deal mainly with the suppliers.

According to Uwumukiza, there are 85 case files connected to the destroyed narcotic drugs in Nyanza in which 83 people have so far been tried and sentenced.

In Gicumbi District, 7kgs of cannabis, 202kgs of Khat commonly known as mayirungi, 1,507 litres of kanyanga and other assorted illicit drinks, were disposed of on Wednesday, September 22, in a public exercise held in in Rukizi Village, Rwankonjo Cell, Cyumba Sector.

The District Police Commander (DPC) for Gicumbi, Superintendent of Police (SP) Gisanga Ndahimana, said that the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances were seized from dealers in separate Police operations conducted in Cyumba, Manyagiro and Rubaya sectors between May and August, this year.

"We commend the role of the public, who continue to share information on traffickers and local retailers which facilitates successful operations," SP Ndabimana said.

Alice Batamuriza, a prosecutor at Gicumbi Intermediate Court, said that 74 people arrested in connection with the destroyed drugs, have so far been convicted and serving separate sentences.

Cannabis and khat, are classified as very severe drugs in Rwanda while kanyanga is listed as a simple drug.

Article 263 of law No 68/2018 of 30/08/2018 determining offenses and penalties in general, states that any person, who unlawfully produces, transforms, transports, stores, gives to another or who sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, commits an offence.

Upon conviction for "very severe narcotics," the offender faces between 20 years and life imprisonment, and a fine of up to Rwf30 million.

In case of simple drugs, the offender faces between seven and ten years and a fine of not less than Rwf5 million but not more than Rwf10 million.