Continued operations against drug traffickers and breaking chains of supply in Rubavu District led to the arrest of four people said to be part of two separate trafficking rings.
The suspects, aged between 19 and 29, were arrested on Saturday in Gisenyi town.
The ongoing operations in Rubavu are being conducted by the District Police Unit (DPU) and the Rwanda National Police’s Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU), an arm charged with fighting drug related crimes.
“The quartet was on the list of major drug traffickers, and was found with combined 2488 rolls of cannabis at the time of their arrest. They were handed over to Rwanda Investigation Bureau in Gisenyi alongside their exhibits,” Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Innocent Gasasira, the Police spokesperson for the Western region said.
Two of the suspects were picked up in Byahi Cell with 1002 and 320 pellets of cannabis, respectively, while Twahirwa and Musabyimana arrested in Kivumu Cell were found in possession of 1166 rolls.
The arrest came two days after ANU also intercepted other 125kgs and 1230 rolls of cannabis from the traffickers during the operations conducted Thursday.
“Drug traffickers should beware of the legal implications of what they are doing, and those who are yet to be arrested, at a certain point their luck will run out and they will face the wrath of the law,” Gasasira warned.
The government, last year, reviewed the law on drugs, among others, and increased the maximum sentence for those classified as major traffickers from seven years to life imprisonment.
Article 263 of the new penal code on “acts related to the use of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances,” says;
Any person who, in any way, eats, drinks, injects himself/herself, inhales or one, who anoints oneself with psychotropic substances, commits an offence, and liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years or subject to a penalty of community service.
Any person who, unlawfully produces, transforms, transports, stores, gives to another or who sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances commits an offence.
Upon conviction, he or she is liable to a life imprisonment and a fine of between Rwf20 million and not more Rwf30 million in regard to “severe narcotic drugs”; imprisonment for a term of not less than 7 years and not more than 10 years and a fine of up to Rwf10 million in regard to “simple narcotics.”
If acts mentioned above are performed to a child or performed at the international level, the penalty is a life imprisonment and a fine of between Rwf30 million and Rwf50 million.