NYAGATARE leads other districts in alcohol abuse and other forms of drug abuse in the Eastern Province, the acting Regional Police Commander Supt. Claude Kajeguhakwa has said.
Speaking to The New Times last weekend, Kajeguhakwa said that security services will soon mount a crack down on drug traffickers, whom he blamed for the escalating crime rate witnessed in the district.
“Drugs are the root causes of most crime we witness here. However we will come to the root of the matter,” he said.
“We have given ourselves up to end of May to have for instance mounted operations to stamp out the smuggling of drugs from Uganda to Rwanda. Since April 19 we have been carrying out regular patrols along the common border.”
The major drugs smuggled into the country according to police sources include Marijuana and illegal liquor commonly known as ‘Kanyanga’ and ‘Chief Waragi’.
The police chief disclosed that a special enforcement team comprising of residents and police has been set up to hunt down drug traffickers and their customers within the district.
In a separate interview, the district Mayor Robert Kashemeza, said the district council has passed relevant by-laws to enable local authorities fight drug trafficking.
The law spells out a fine of Rwf.1000 for each packet of ‘chief waragi’ seized , he said. One packet of ‘chief waragi’ gin costs Rwf.200.
The Mayor warned local leaders who fail to enforce the ban on illegal local brew and any person colluding with drug traffickers that stern action would be taken against them.
Meanwhile, on April 22, 518 cartons of chief waragi, 320 litres of Kanyanga and five kilograms of marijuana were destroyed in Nyagatare. 22 suspected dealers were also arrested.
A Toyota Corolla saloon car registration number RAB 934N and two motorcycles were also impounded in the swoop.
In a related development, 502 cartons of chief waragi and 90 litres of Kanyanga were destroyed on May 7.
In this operation 18 suspects were arrested and a Land Cruiser Four wheel drive vehicle registration number RAB653 K was impounded by security organs.