One Celestin Manirafasha, 28, was arrested on Saturday, January 7, in Murambo Village, Bukwashuri Cell of Kivuye Sector in Burera District, after he was found in possession of 14kgs of cannabis and 22 litres of crude illicit gin commonly known as Kanyanga.
Meanwhile, one Didier Bahati was arrested on Monday, January 9, Kabasengerezi Village, Kabasengerezi Cell in Muhima Sector, Nyarugenge District with 197 pellets.
Superintendent of Police Alex Ndayisenga, the Northern Region Political and Civic Education Officer (RPCEO), while reacting on the arrest of Manirafasha, said that he had sneaked the narcotic drugs and illicit gin into Rwanda from Uganda through a porous border point.
"A responsive resident, who was returning from Uganda, tipped off the Police that two people had used an illegal border to traffic narcotics into Rwanda.
An operation to arrest the suspects was put into motion, and Manirafasha was taken into custody as he crossed from Uganda through Buhita, with 14kgs of cannabis although his accomplice, who had 22 litres of Kanyanga, managed to flee," SP Ndayisenga said.
According to investigations, the duo was at the time delivering the narcotics to another dealer in Ruhunde Sector also in Burera District, who is yet to be arrested.
The suspects were handed over to RIB for further investigations on the high impact crime.
All alcoholic drinks produced without the standard mark (S-Mark) issued by Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) or without complying with the standards, are classified as narcotics.
Cannabis is classified as a "very severe drug" in Rwanda while kanyanga is listed as a "simple drug" under the Ministerial order nº 001/MoH/2019 of 04/03/2019 establishing the list of narcotic drugs and their categorisation
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.