Drug abuse, trafficking cases on the rise – Police

Police’s biggest challenge continues to be drug trafficking and abuse, making up about 23 per cent of the cases handled last year. In total, Rwanda National Police dealt with 17,000 cases in 2016, according to the Commissioner of Criminal Intelligence Department (CID), Morris Murigo.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Morris Murigo addresses senators. / Timothy Kisambira
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Morris Murigo addresses senators. / Timothy Kisambira

Police’s biggest challenge continues to be drug trafficking and abuse, making up about 23 per cent of the cases handled last year.

In total, Rwanda National Police dealt with 17,000 cases in 2016, according to the Commissioner of Criminal Intelligence Department (CID), Morris Murigo.

 
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Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Esperance Nyirasafari, speaks at the Senate yesterday in Kigali. / Timothy Kisambira

Addressing officials at a meeting to discuss cross-border crime at Parliament, yesterday, Murigo said that though the drug issue has been around for a long time and measures to deal with it are in place, the numbers continue to rise.

 

“As compared to the number of cases that we dealt with, 23.87 per cent of these cases are related to cannabis and illicit alcohol. Most of the time, we concentrate more on the sellers than the consumers and that’s why the numbers of dealers is high. We found that 64.79 per cent of those apprehended are dealers,” he said.

 
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Senators follow proceedings during the meeting. / Timothy Kisambira

Murigo called for fast and sustainable intervention methods since the numbers indicated the country’s youth were the most affected.

“Of all these, those found in possession of cannabis are below 18, constituting 1.14 per cent of those apprehended, those who fall between age 18 and 35 constitutes 71.87 per cent, while those above 35 constitute 26.98 per cent,” he said.

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State Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs Evode Uwizeyimana chats with Senate president, Bernard Makuza. / Timothy Kisambira

Murigo said what is even more worrying was that crimes like physical abuse resulting into bodily harm, theft, child molestation and rape were most of the time directly linked to drug use.

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State Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs Evode Uwizeyimana speaks to senators. / Timothy Kisambira

Although Police had registered small quantities of dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin on the market, he said there was need to act fast before the issue escalated.

Senate president Bernard Makuza said that besides causing insecurity, cross- border crimes affect the general wellbeing of society.

“We cannot achieve the Rwanda we want if we do not have the mechanisms to completely wipe out cross-border crimes,” he said.

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Senate president Bernard Makuza chats with Fatou Harerimana, the Senate vice president in charge of legal affairs, during the meeting. /Timothy Kisambira

Makuza said success can only be registered if strong collaboration between government agencies is built and cooperation with the local population strengthened.

The president of the senatorial Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security, Mike Rugema, said the advent of internet has presented the world with such challenges as cyber-crime but also benefits, especially in technological advancement.

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