When police on patrol in Nyamasheke District responded to an accident Monday night, they expected to be rescuing victims, but were instead shocked to find drugs.
Reports say at least 86 kilogrammes of cannabis were in the ill-fated car.
The driver of the UN-registered Toyota Land Cruiser had vanished into thin air. But the find is a clear eye-opener.
Drug traffickers and other criminal elements are always one step ahead of law enforcement. This is because they devise their plans, complete with contingency if their missions went awry. Law enforcement officers cannot read everything and have 100 per cent expectation of what is going to be done.
However, this does not mean they are too smart for the long arm of the law. With concerted policing efforts involving both authorities and the public, it has been proven time and again that timely information can always yield good results.
UNHCR, whose vehicle is at the centre of the drug trafficking, said the particular car had been loaned to another humanitarian organisation. The two institutions are, therefore, culpable for it was their cardinal responsibility to ensure that the car was used solely for the purpose for which it was meant to serve.
This incident is a wakeup call to all institutions to monitor their assets to ensure it is not abused in any way. The branding on such vehicles always speaks louder than sirens about whose transaction the vehicle is being operated on.
For law enforcement, it is high time “everybody is made equal before the law,” when it comes to regulations such as on drug trafficking. Police know which vehicles cannot be subjected to stops and searches, but humanitarian vehicles, including ambulances, should not be flagged off with cursory glances.
It would be important for Police and other law enforcement agencies to revisit their operations and rule books for the greater good of achieving utmost policing.