Operations in border districts to break supply chains of narcotic drugs have broken rackets of drug traffickers and seized psychotropic substances worth over Rwf46 million in the last three months in the Northern Province, police said.
The drugs were seized in the districts of Gicumbi and Musanze.
Drugs worth Rwf23.9 million seized in Gicumbi were destroyed on January 25 in a public exercise held in Kageyo Sector and attended by hundreds of residents.
In Musanze, the drugs destroyed the same day, worth over Rwf22.5 million, also included banned bleaching lotion such as Caro-light, Citron Light and Lairemen, which were also seized in the same operations.
Most seized drugs included banned brew with different brand names such as Kanyanga, Chief Waragi, Zebra Waragi, African Gin and cannabis.
Border districts are usually used as transit routes for narcotics and illicit substances sneaked into the country, according to police.
Gicumbi, Burera, Kirehe, Nyagatare and Rubavu are among those on spot, where operations have been intensified.
In Gicumbi, the District Police Commander, Chief Supt. Dan Ndayambaje, while addressing the residents during the destruction exercise, attributed the success to “ownership” by the residents through various formed groups, and strengthened information sharing on the dealers.
“This is the result of your strong cooperation and ownership to ensure your own safety and security. These are the same substances that fuel most conflicts and crimes such as gender based violence, child abuse, assault and even parents who abandon their family responsibilities and spend most of the time consuming these substances,” said Chief Supt. Ndayambaje.
Between June and November, last year, illicit drugs majority banned gin, worth Rwf38 million were also seized and destroyed in Gicumbi.
As part of the effort to deal with the vice, residents of Gicumbi have since formed anti-Kanyanga clubs in each of the 21 sectors, which have been credited for the increased successful operations against dealers and consumers.
In Musanze, the DPC, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Jean Claude Kabandana, who warned of continued operations against any drug dealer, also cautioned the residents against smuggling, through which harmful products are also brought on the market.
He gave an example of the seized smuggled lotion, which he said were banned in Rwanda due to their ill-effects and contravenes Rwanda’s standards.
Rwanda’s standards specify that cosmetics should not exceed 0.003 percent of hydroquinone.
Cosmetics such as Elegance, Carolight, Lairemen and Diproson are all bleaching agents with over 2 percent of hydroquinone.