A total of 1,547 were arrested in the first seven months of 2010 in connection with drug abuse related crimes, with 999 accused of either trading or consuming marijuana, a report released by police on drug trade and consumption indicates.
The report further indicates that 563,948 kilograms of marijuana and 4,274 litres of illegal brew (locally known as Kanyanga), were confiscated and destroyed in the same period.
Last year, over 2 million kilograms of marijuana and 1.2 million litres of illegal brew were seized and 3,157 were people arrested in connection with the crimes.
Drug abuse and its related offences have been topping the crime list in the country since 2008.
Marijuana is said to be smuggled into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania while Kanyanga is smuggled from Uganda.
Drug consumption is a major burden to society as it leads to the increase of crimes disrupting security of people and their property, according to Police.
The youth, the report indicates, are the most people involved in the crime.
“The general trend of drug related offences is on the decline due to efforts by police to fight the crime in conjunction with people who provide relevant information,” said Police spokesperson, Eric Kayiranga.
Introduction of an anti-narcotic unit specifically charged with handling drug crimes, thorough the use of sniffer dogs and thorough checking at entry points, are some of the measures in place to combat the crime.
As prescribed by article 272 in the penal code, drug trade and consumption is sanctioned with a maximum of three months to five years jail and a fine of 250,000rwf or either of the penalties.