Rwanda National Police (RNP) yesterday arrested Lovini Wanjiku Ngoroge, 45, a Kenyan citizen in connection with trafficking 2.5 kilogrammes of cocaine worth Rwf85 million.
Wanjiku was arrested at Kigali International Airport enroute from São Paulo, Brazil.
The suspect, whose final destination was Kenya, claims she made a stop-over in Kigali enroute to Burundi where she was to visit her daughter who gave birth recently.
“We work closely with the Police in other countries to fight drug trafficking and that is how we managed to arrest the suspect.
“When she arrived at the airport, our officers approached her and searched her luggage. Like the suspect we arrested in November, Wanjiku had the cocaine concealed in new ladies’ handbags,” said the Police spokesperson Celestin Twahirwa.
However, Wanjiku who was paraded before the press, yesterday afternoon, denies any knowledge of the drugs and claims she was given the handbag by a friend of hers in Brazil to take to a sister in Nairobi.
“I went to Brazil to seek treatment for my injured arm, that’s where I met a woman who gave me the handbags and asked me to pass them to her sister called Anne in Nairobi,” said Wanjiku who runs a saloon in Kiambu County, Kenya.
The packaging of the drugs was similar to that in the case involving four Rwandans arrested in November last year, also from Sao Paulo.
Police now suspects that the drugs must be coming from the same place.
Wanjiku, however, could not recall the name of the doctor she allegedly met nor the hospital she went to.
The New Times learnt that she had also travelled to Thailand – a country commonly referred to as the cocaine capital of the world.
If Wanjiku is tried in Rwanda and found guilty, she risks a jail sentence of between six to ten years or a fine of between Rwf1 million and ten million francs or both.