About 26.5kgs of cannabis were seized from two traffickers in separate Police operations conducted on Monday, August 1, in Kirehe and Nyagatare districts.
One of the suspected traffickers identified as Safari Emmanuel Hafashimana, 25, was arrested red-handed in Karembo Village, Rwantonde Cell, Gatore Sector of Kirehe District with 3.5kgs of cannabis.
In Nyagatare, Police seized 23kgs from another trafficker, who fled during the operation conducted in Rutoma Village, Ndego Cell, Karama Sector.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for the Eastern region, said that the suspects were reported by residents.
"The drug dealers were reported by area residents that they were attempting to sneak narcotics into Rwanda from neighbouring countries. Operations were conducted concurrently and Hafashimana was arrested in Rwantonde cell with 3.5kgs of cannabis, which he was sneaking into Rwanda from Tanzania," SP Twizeyimana said.
Hafashimana and his exhibits were handed over to RIB at Gatore station for further legal process.
In an operation conducted in Nyagatare, SP Twizeyimana said the drug dealer, who escaped, dropped a sack of 23kgs of cannabis, which he had trafficked into Rwanda from Uganda.
SP Twizeyimana warned of the severe consequences of dealing in narcotic drugs and urged the public to report anyone they suspect to be engaged in such high impact crimes.
The Ministerial order No. 001/MoH/2019 of 04/03/2019 establishing the list of narcotic drugs and their categorization classifies cannabis in the category of "very severe narcotics.??
Article 263 of law No 68/2018 of 30/08/2018 determining offenses and penalties in general states that any person, who unlawfully produces, transforms, transports, stores, gives to another or who sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, commits an offence.
Upon conviction for "very severe narcotics," the offender faces between 20 years and life imprisonment, and a fine of between Frw20 million and Frw30 million.