Over 3,500 tons of marijuana was impounded and 2,670 people arrested since last year, according to a latest police report on drug trade and consumption.
The report released yesterday indicates that about 2,900 tons were impounded last year alone and 1,671 people arrested, while as of July this year, over 560 additional tons have been seized and 999 people arrested.
The same report shows that in 2009 over 12,500 litres of local brew commonly known as Kanyanga were confiscated and 1,386 people arrested for committing the crime, while in the first seven months of this year, 4,300 litres were seized and destroyed while 548 people were arrested.
Drug-related crimes have for the last three years topped the crime list in the country, constituting serious offences as after-effects of drug consumption.
Marijuana is a common drug said to be smuggled into the country mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania while Kanyanga is said to come from Uganda.
The youth, the report indicates, is the group mostly involved in drug consumption.
“This is possibly because of being idle, especially during school holidays, and there are some irresponsible parents who do not bother following up their children’s behavior.” the report reads.
The seized drugs are set ablaze.
Police Spokesperson, Supt. Eric Kayiranga states that the increase of drug-related offences does not mean that drug consumption is on the increase, compared with that of the previous years.
“It is because the issue has been given more attention than it was previously accorded. Generally, the trend of drug-related offences is on the decline, and this success has largely attributed to efforts by the Police in conjunction with the people who provide us with information,” Kayiranga said.
He said that concrete measures to curb drug trafficking and consumption are in place, including establishing an Anti-narcotics unit specifically to handle drug crimes.
Drugs trade and consumption is punishable by a period of three months to five years in jail or a fine of Rwf 250,000, or both.