Superintendent of Police (SP) Gisanga Ndahimana, the District Police Commander (DPC) for Gicumbi, said that the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances were seized from traffickers and dealers in separate Police operations conducted in Byumba sector between January and July, this year.
"These drugs were impounded from dealers, who were attempting to sneak them into Rwanda from Uganda, through porous borders as well as those who were selling them locally. At least 28 dealers; 20 of them with kanyanga, seven with cannabis and one with khat, were arrested in the process," SP Ndahimana said.
Majority of the arrested dealers are members of the groups that call themselves Abarembetsi.
"These operations were successful largely because of the ownership of the residents, who reported the dealers that use their communities as transit routes or destination," the DPC said.
"Besides awareness and varied operations targeting drug dealers especially in the borderline districts of Gicumbi, Burera and Musanze, the government projects such as feeder road construction, reafforestation under Green Gicumbi programme; some young people that belonged to Abarembetsi rackets have now engaged in these constructive and development activities, where they are employed. We call upon all those still involved in these criminal acts to follow suit for the better future."
Cannabis and khat also commonly known as mayirungi, 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 Frw5 million but not more than Rwf10 million.