One of the suspects identified as Pascal Nsengiyumva, 28, was apprehended on Wednesday August 24, in Kanyamatembe Village, Terimbere Cell, of Nyundo Sector in Rubavu District with a bundle containing 8kgs of cannabis.
Two others; Aline Uwitonze, 18, and Kevine Iradukunda, 20, who had 1014 and 1003 pellets, respectively, were arrested Friday, August 25, in Ruhongore Village, Nyamitanzi Cell, Jomba Sector on Nyabihu District.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Mucyo Rukundo, the Political and Civic Education Officer (RPCEO) for the Western region, said the separate operations followed credible information from residents.
“On Wednesday, Police received a phone-call from a vigilant resident of Kanyamatembe Village reporting Nsengiyumva, who was carrying a sack of suspicious goods. The resident suspected him to be trafficking cannabis," CIP Rukundo said.
He added that when Police officers stopped him, they found that the sack contained cannabis weighing 8kgs, leading to his immediate arrest.
"Nsengiyumva was allegedly supplied by another major dealer in Busasamana Sector (still at large), also in Rubavu District, from where he was coming, and was at the time headed to Nyundo Sector to supply his retailing customers.
He added that Uwitonze and Iradukunda were arrested at a Police check-point along Rubavu-Musanze during a random search against smuggling and drug trafficking.
They were at the time traveling in a public vehicle and had wrapped the pellets of cannabis around their waist covered with the clothes they were wearing.
"The arrest of the trio is a result of strong Police cooperation and collaboration with the public through information sharing and increased operations targeting mainly suppliers," CIP Rukundo said.
On Sunday, August 21, one Gilbert Twiringiyimana was arrested red-handed in Buhita Village, Bukwashuri Cell of Kivuye Sector in Burera District in possession of 10kgs of cannabis which he had trafficked into Rwanda from the neighbouring Uganda.
Early this month, three other dealers were also arrested in Busasamana Village, Byimana Cell of Ndego Sector Kayonza District with 10 kilogrammes of cannabis.
The Ministerial order No. 001/MoH/2019 of 04/03/2019 establishing the list of narcotic drugs and their categorization classifies cannabis in the category of "very severe narcotics.’’
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 between Rwf20 million and Rwf30 million.