Two drug dealers apprehended

On 29 November 2020 at 12:48

In separate operations conducted on November 26th and 27th, Rwanda National Police (RNP) apprehended two big dealers in Kirehe and Nyabihu districts with combined 102 kgs of cannabis.

In Nyabihu District, one Francois Niyonzima, 34, was intercepted in Mukamira Sector, on November 27, trafficking 30kgs of cannabis on a motorcycle.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said that Niyonzima, a commercial motorcyclist operating in Musanze District and a resident of Kinigi Sector, is part of the drug trafficking syndicate, whose role is to transport the narcotics mainly from Rubavu to other destinations in different parts of the country.

"Niyonzima, was on the list of drug traffickers. On November 27, Police received credible information that he was headed to Kigali from Rubavu District with two bundles of cannabis on a motorcycle," CIP Karekezi said.

He added: "A Police roadblock was mounted in Mukamira, Nyabihu District, but Niyonzima was stubborn and violent... he refused to stop when officers stopped him. They trailed him but he threw one bundle of cannabis in the road to cause mayhem and to lead the Police vehicle, which was trailing him, into an accident; however, his plan did not work.

During the chase, residents intercepted him, but he was armed with a machete and tried to harm them. Fortunately, realised that he was outnumbered and Police officers were armed. He gave-in and was taken into custody."

CIP Karekezi disclosed that law enforcement organs have since identified two other members of the same syndicate, including the alleged rightful owner of the narcotics in Kigali.

"We know Niyonzima got the narcotics from another supplier in Bugeshi Sector in Rubavu, at a place called Kubukombe. We also know that he was hired by one Dieudonne Nshimiyimana to deliver the narcotics to him in Kigali. Nshimiyimana was actually with Niyonzima in Rubavu and was riding ahead of him (Niyonzima), acting as a spotter. When he realised that Niyonzima had been spotted by the Police, he fled prior."

Available information indicate that Nshimiyimana had paid Niyonzima Frw40,000 to transport the narcotics to Kigali and it was the second time that the duo was working together in the same criminal deal, having succeeded in their first attempt.

Niyonzima was handed over to RIB at Mukamira station for further legal process.

"Most of the successful operations include major dealers on the list compiled with the help of the general public and local leaders. Operations are continuous with the ultimate goal of breaking chains of supply and to kill the consumption market through awareness."

Elsewhere, in Kirehe District, Police foiled trafficking of two sacks of cannabis weighing 72kgs, which were being sneaked into Rwanda from Burundi through Akagera River in Gahara Sector.

"Four people, who were trafficking the sacks of cannabis, abandoned them and fled back to Burundi after seeing Police officers," CIP Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for the Eastern region, said.

The four drug traffickers said to be Burundi nationals, he said, were reported by local authorities in Murehe Cell of Gahara Sector.

In this week alone six big drug dealers have been arrested.

On November 23, another taxi-moto operator was intercepted in Jomba Sector, Nyabihu District transporting about 10,000 pellets of cannabis.

Four other suspected drug traffickers, who are members of the same chain of supply, were arrested the following day in Nyabihu and Kigali with combined 6500 rolls of cannabis.

The Ministerial Order No. 001/MoH/2019 of 04/03/2019 establishing the list of narcotic drugs and their categorization classifies cannabis as a "very severe drug."
The law determining offences and penalties in general in Rwanda, especially in its article 263, provides an imprisonment of between 20 years and life, for anyone convicted for very severe narcotic drugs and a fine of up to Rwf30 million.