A joint operation by Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) in the City of Kigali arrested at least 15 people suspected of either selling or using hard drugs.
The network was busted in targeted operations conducted in the last two weeks. Twelve of the suspects were paraded before the media, yesterday, at Kacyiru Police Station.
According to RNP and RIB, the suspects belong to two separate rings dealing mainly in heroin locally known as Mugo.
One group is headed locally by one Jean Paul Abedi Nitwibagirwa and Mungwabarora Moza, who are also among those arrested. Nitwibagirwa was found with five grams of heroin at the time of his arrest.
Nitwibagirwa and Mungwabarora are said to have been agents on the ground working for one Bienvenue Karangwa, who operates in the region, and still on the run. These agents were mainly operating in Gikondo, Nyakabanda and Kimisagara.
Another gang said to be new was headed by Innocent Romeo Kamanzi and Mubarak Babu Nkurunziza, also among those arrested. They were working for one only identified as Damascene, who is yet to be arrested.
Eight people under Kamanzi, who was caught with one gram of heroin, and Nkurunziza are among those arrested.
Electronic items including smart phones, televisions sets, still cameras and home theatres reportedly stolen from different homes in Kigali, were also recovered from the suspects.
“The suppliers are enemies of humanity. Majority of the consumers arrested are young aged below 25, and this means that the dealers are destroying the lives and the future of the young people and much needed labourforce,” Commissioner of Police (CP) Theos Badege, the RNP spokesperson, said.
“The suppliers or sellers normally exchange the hard drugs with stolen items, which explains while they were also found with stolen electronics,” he added.
CP Badege called for collective efforts at all levels to “expose and report such criminals in communities, and even addicts so as to be rehabilitated.”
Modeste Mbabazi, RIB spokesperson said that investigations are still ongoing to bring to justice everyone involved in this criminal network.
Article 594 of the penal code, partly states that “any person who, unlawfully, makes, transforms, imports, or sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances within the country, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of three to five years and a fine of Rwf500, 000 to Rwf5 million.
If the acts are committed internationally, the penalties shall be doubled.
The same article also provides an imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to Rwf500, 000 to anyone who consumes, injects or inhales narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
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