Jean Pierre Harerimana alias Kennedy and his wife Zawadi Nyirahabimana, were arrested Wednesday in Gacuriro Cell, Kinyinya Sector of Gasabo District with 40,000 pellets of cannabis, concealed in fives bundles.
While parading the suspects to the media in Remera on Thursday, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Marie-Gorette Umutesi, the Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali, said that Police, through an informer, tracked Harerimana from Rubavu to Kigali.
Harerimana transported the narcotics to Kigali in a Toyota Carina E, registration number RAB 096P, which was also impounded.
CIP Umutesi said that the couple was arrested with two other people said to be motorcyclists, who were Harerimana’s informers from Rubavu to Kigali.
“The Anti-Narcotics Unit had information about this specific vehicle which left Rubavu to Kigali with consignments of cannabis. It is suspected that the trafficker—Harerimana—used the two motorcyclists identified as Abuba Makeke and Ibrahim Mugabe as his spotters, who rode ahead from Rubavu informing him of the whereabouts of security organs, to avoid arrest,” CIP Umutesi said.
“Through Police informers in Rubavu and Kigali, ANU tracked him to his home in Gacuriro, Kinyinya Sector where he was arrested on arrival together with his wife and the two motorcyclists. Bundles of cannabis were recovered from the car and in the ceiling of the couple’s house,” she explained.
It is not the first time Harerimana has been arrested in drug-related crimes. He is among the convicts that received the presidential pardon late last year, after serving three of his five-year sentence for the same crime.
On his part, Harerimana told journalists that he was only hired to transport the narcotics from Rubavu to Kigali. “I was to be paid Rwf240, 000 after delivering the consignment to the owner here in Kigali,” he said, without mentioning the alleged owner of the narcotics.
“I was given these bundles by a man called Pascal in Rubavu, who traffics cannabis into Rwanda from DR. Congo. The deal was to deliver them to the owners in Kigali, but they escaped after learning that I have been arrested,” Harerimana said. “I have been arrested with my wife, now our two children are going to face the consequences of our actions; I pray that no other parent encounters such a challenging experience.”
CIP Umutesi commended the increased ownership of members of the public in fighting narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances through information sharing with the Police.
“These are harmful drugs with immediate health effects to users; a security issue destroying young people and undermining the country’s development. Thousands of young people, who are supposed to be in school or the skilled labor-force are in rehabilitation centers, and that means the country is spending a lot of money on them instead of using it for other community development activities,” CIP Umutesi noted.
She added: “No one should allow such to continue if you know any drug dealers call the Police; we need to work together to give no room for such criminal individuals to continue poisoning people for their selfish ends.”
The sentence for anyone convicted of trafficking, transporting or storing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances was increased from seven maximum years to life imprisonment, as stipulated under article 263 of the new penal code.
The same article also provides a fine ranging between Rwf20 million and Rwf30 million, upon conviction.