Ugandan arrested trafficking heroin

On 25 December 2019 at 01:01

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has arrested a Ugandan national identified as Rashid Mugenyi for attempting to traffic 1kg of heroin to China through Rwanda.

He was arrested last Thursday at Gatuna border post as he was going back to Uganda, a day after he mailed two text books through FedEx Express in Kigali, in which the hardcore narcotics were concealed.

The illegal parcel marked as "extremely urgent" containing the two text books (Young Learner’s Picture Dictionary and Young Learner’s Bible Dictionary) was intercepted by Airport security at Kigali International Airport earlier that day.

The pellets of heroin weighing 1kg were found concealed in the hard covers of either side of the text-books.

Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, RNP spokesperson said that Mugenyi was tracked and intercepted at Gatuna as he fled back to Uganda after mailing the books which they had used to traffic the hard drugs to China through Rwanda.

Mugenyi told journalists on Tuesday that he travelled to Kigali with the two books in the night of December 18, through Gatuna border post. He feigned ignorance that heroin was concealed in the text books. He argued that he got them from one Michelle, whom he called a “friend” residing in Kajjansi, a suburb in Uganda’s town of Entebbe.

“Earlier on December 18, Michelle called and asked me to travel to Kigali to mail the two text books to China. She claimed that it’s cheap to mail the books to China through FedEx in Kigali and paid me 60,000 Ugandan shillings in addition to other 70,000 Ugandan shilling as mail charges,” Mugenyi told journalists.

He added: “I remember Michelle telling me that ‘when anything happens I shouldn’t panic, I didn’t mind because these were just books in my eyes. The plan was to bring same text books three times a week and mail them to China from Kigali, if I succeeded mailing these first two books.”

CP Kabera warned that “Rwanda can never be used as either a destination or transit route for drug dealers.”

“We are aware that narcotics is a serious international issue and as Rwanda National Police, we have not taken that lightly; we created an Anti-Narcotics Unit and strengthened training in detecting and fighting the vice as well as strong community policing, a bond with the people, which helps us to get information on dealers,” said the spokesperson.

Although hardcore drugs are rare in Rwanda, CP Kabera said that most of those seized are trafficked from Uganda and in most cases trying to use Rwanda as a transit.

Heroin is classified as “severe narcotic drugs” under article 263 of the law determining offences and penalties in general in Rwanda.

The article provides a life sentence and a fine of more than Rwf20 million and not more than Rwf30 million, to anyone convicted of trafficking and selling severe narcotic drugs.