Olivier Nshimiyimana, 22, alias ’Major’ and Abdoul Sadam, 27, were arrested on Saturday, October 24, with four sachets of the severe drug. They were also caught with a syringe, which they were using to inject customers with heroin.
The suspects were handed over to RIB at Ngoma station.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Michel Majyambere, the acting District Police Commander (DPC) for Huye, said that the arrest of the duo followed information provided by one of the addicted users, who had check in at Huye rehabilitation centre for medical assistance.
"An addicted youth, who had gone to seek medical help at Huye rehabilitation centre disclosed that he was buying the heroin from Nshimiyimana. Police traced and arrested Nshimiyimana, who was at the time found in possession of four sachets of heroin. Sadam, who was caught with Nshimiyimana, is also the latter’s client, who had come to be injected with heroin," CIP Majyambere said.
"Heroin is among the very dangerous narcotic drugs with immediate effects to users, and with severe punishment especially to dealers in Rwanda," the DPC warned.
It is said that Nshimiyimana was using the same syringe to inject several of his clients, which increased risks of spreading infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS.
Effects of heroin
Health experts say that after the initial effects of heroin, users usually will be drowsy for several hours; mental function is clouded; heart function slows; and breathing is also severely slowed, sometimes enough to be life-threatening.
Slowed breathing can also lead to coma and permanent brain damage.
According to the UN Office in Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), heroin is "very addictive" and development of tolerance and physical and psychological dependence occurs rapidly.
UNODC warns that heroin causes severe weight loss and malnutrition that can lead to damaged veins and liver disease. It can also lead to menstrual irregularity, sedation and chronic apathy.
Taking heroin also clouds the user’s judgment and increases the chance of him or her making bad choices, such as having unprotected sex and sharing needles. Thus, the user risks contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other infectious diseases.
What the law in Rwanda says
Heroin is listed as a "very severe drug" in Rwanda, alongside cocaine, opium and cannabis under the Ministerial Order No. 001/MoH/2019 of 04/03/2019 establishing the list of narcotic drugs and their categorisation.
In article 263 of the law relating to offences and offences in general, it specifies that anyone convicted for "severe narcotic drugs" faces a life imprisonment and a fine of between Frw20 million and Frw30 million.