Police said Jean Pierre Niyonsaba, 45, was arrested as he smuggled assorted medical drugs into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), through a porous border post.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Emmanuel Kayigi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said the suspect was primarily selling pharmaceuticals to local residents.
"Local residents reported Niyonsaba, after suspecting that what he was doing is unlawful. He had turned his house into a pharmacy," CIP Kayigi said.
"There was also information that on that day, Niyonsaba would bring another consignment of pharmaceuticals. Following a tip-off, Police trailed and arrested him red-handed with assorted drugs, after crossing from DRC," he explained.
The spokesperson added that Niyonsaba was at the time of his arrest found in possession of over 30 different types of medicines.
They include endoxide, Omiprosole, Coartem, Vitamines, paracetamol, Amoxciline, Ibuprophene, Ampesceline, Calcium, Decaris, Vermox, Coloraxaciline, and Flagile, among others.
Niyonsaba said that he has been selling pharmaceutical drugs for the last eight months and that he works with Congolese, who deliver the medicines to him.
CIP Kayigi emphasized that pharmaceuticals are prescribed by medical practitioners and sold by licensed pharmacists.
"Medications are prescribed by practicing medical personnel and bought at a licensed pharmacy but not in someone’s home like Niyonsaba was doing," he warned.
“Illegal pharmaceuticals may cost less, but they may not be effective, and in fact, they may have very negative consequences for people’s health because they are prescribed by a layperson, who is likely to give you an overdose, expired or wrong drugs," CIP Kayigi said.
He thanked those, who provided information that led to the arrest of Niyonsaba, and advised Rwandans to buy drugs from known and licensed pharmacies and subscribe to public health insurance (mutuelle de sante) for cost effective healthcare.