KIGALI - Rwanda National Police, in conjunction with the National Prison Services, yesterday, conducted an operation in Remera Prison, Kimironko and seized several items illegally smuggled by inmates, including marijuana, television sets, mobile phone handsets, and alcohol.
Other items included stamps for forging documents and cash in various currencies.
One of the prisoners was also found in possession of a passport, and it is alleged that he was planning to escape the prison and subsequently flee the country.
When The New Times visited the scene, yesterday morning, thousands of inmates were being guarded from outside the prison as police and prison guards carried out a thorough search inside the facility.
Chief Supt. Rogers Rutikanga, the Regional Police Commander, Central, said that the operation was part of the ongoing efforts to seize all illegal merchandise.
Rutikanga added that the operation was aimed at searching for any dangerous weapons, documents, drugs, and anything that is prohibited inside prisons.
“We have been conducting these searches around the country, and the prison is one of the places we thought we should conduct the operation since it’s a place that in most cases have people with criminal records,” Rutikanga said.
Pelly Gakwaya Uwera, the Director of the prison, said that illegal products are normally smuggled in with the help of prisoners’ family members.
“Some prisoners’ relatives connive with our employees to sneak these things inside. Some of our employees have been dismissed in the past after they were caught, and investigations are still ongoing to see if there are others,” she said.
Remera prison accommodates more than 5,000 inmates and has 86 employees.