Police in Rubavu district have arrested three people including a woman, suspected of trafficking cannabis into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Patrick Mavubi, 30, Innocent Nshimiyimana 32 and Francine Murekatete 39, were arrested on Friday in Nengo Cell of Gisenyi Sector.
Police said the trio, who were found in possession of 45 kilogrammes of cannabis at the time of their arrest, also tried to bribe officers to avoid arrest.
Supt. Emmanuel Hitayezu, Police spokesperson for the Western region, said one of the suspects, Nshimiyimana, sneaked the narcotics into Rubavu through Lake Kivu.
“Nshimiyimana swam through Lake Kivu and was supposed to connect with his accomplices on arrival on the side of Rwanda in Rubavu. We had earlier received information about the illegal activities of this group and we arrested Nshimiyimana with 45 kilogrammes of marijuana, on arrival, he gave us names of the two collaborators,” Supt. Hitayezu said.
“After their arrest, they tried to bribe the officers with Rwf40,000 and $25 but the officers turned it down,” he added.
“First, it’s risky to swim kilometers through the lake and itÂ’s also a crime to traffic, sell or consume narcotics. By offering bribes, you will be committing another crime,” he noted.
Article 594 of the Rwandan Penal Code also states that, any person who, unlawfully, makes, transforms, imports, or sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances within the country, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of three to five years and a fine of between Rwf500,000 and Rwf5m.
Supt. Hitayezu commended Rubavu residents for their effort in fighting drugs smuggling and abuse through information sharing on dealers and users respectively.
Penalties for anyone convicted of corruption range between two and seven years and a fine of up to ten times the value of illegal benefit demanded as stipulated under articles 633 to 651 of the Rwanda penal code.