Rubavu: Four suspected drug dealers arrested with over 100kgs of cannabis

On 15 March 2021 at 06:35

A joint operation by the Rwanda National Police (RNP) Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU), the District Police Unit (DPU) of Rubavu and local residents have arrested four suspected members of drug trafficking rackets with 100kgs and 5,000 pellets of cannabis.

Two of the drug dealers arrested in the wee hours of Sunday, March 14, are taxi-moto operators in Rubavu identified as Claude Habumugisha and Jean de Dieu Sibomana alias Fils, both aged 31, who were arrested in Gisenyi Sector, Amahoro Cell with 54,000 pellets of cannabis concealed in 32 bundles weighing 100kgs.

The two commercial motorcycle operators were arrested alongside one Jean Claude Rukundo, a storekeeper at a house located in Amahoro Cell, Gisenyi Sector, which was being used as the store for the narcotics and where the 32 bundles had just been delivered.

According to Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, the house was rented by one Janvier Hakizimana, a major drug dealer still on the run.

They were handed over to Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) at Gisenyi station alongside their exhibits.

CIP Karekezi said law enforcement organs are still working together to locate and bring Hakizimana to justice.

The fourth suspected drug dealer called Jonas Sebareme, 39, was arrested Saturday, March 13, in Busasamana Sector also in Rubavu with 5,000 rolls of cannabis.
He was arrested at his home in Busasamana, Nyacyonga Cell in Kacyiru Village with the narcotics.

"On Saturday night, ANU received prior information from residents about consignments of cannabis that would be sneaked into Rwanda from DRC through Lake Kivu," CIP Karekezi said.

He added: "An operation was launched, some people brought the drugs from DRC, gave them to the two motorcyclists, who were trailed to the store in Amahoro cell, where they were arrested red-handed alongside the store-keeper and ANU seized the 32 bundles of cannabis."

The suspected main supplier in DRC is only identified as Rafiki.

"These successful operations are clear indication of the impact of community policing where members of the public become responsive towards breaking chains of supply through real time and credible information," said CIP Karekezi.

Drug dealers, he said, use varied trafficking tricks which they change from time to time, but added that the strong partnership with the general public is the main pillar in discovering these ploys.

The arrest of the quartet came following another successful operation in Rubavu District conducted last week in which six drug dealers were arrested with 2,610 pellets of cannabis.

Over 1550kgs of cannabis were also disposed of last week in Rubavu. They were seized in varied operations in the district conducted since 2019, through which over 170 dealers were also arrested.

Rubavu is mapped as one of the major drug trafficking corridors.

Cannabis alongside heroin, cocaine and opium are classified as "very severe drugs" under the Ministerial order nº 001/MoH/2019 of 04/03/2019 establishing the list of narcotic drugs and their categorisation.

Anyone convicted for dealing in "very severe narcotic drugs" under article 263 of the law determining offences and penalties in general faces between 20 years and life imprisonment, and a fine of between Rwf20 million and to Rwf30 million.