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15 arrested in Rwanda, as police, RIB bust drugs ring

KIGALI, RWANDA - JUNE 3, 2018: The Rwanda National Police General Headquarters.

A joint operation by Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) in the City of Kigali has resulted in the arrest of 15 people suspected of either selling or using hard drugs.

The operation was conducted over the last two weeks.

According to RNP and RIB, the suspects belong to two separate rings dealing mainly in heroin, locally known as Mugo.

Police said one group was led by one Jean Paul Abedi Nitwibagirwa and Mungwabarora Moza. Both were arrested.

Nitwibagirwa was found with five grams of heroin at the time of his arrest, police say.

Nitwibagirwa and Mungwabarora were allegedly working as agents for one Bienvenue Karangwa, who is still on the run.

The two were mainly operating in Gikondo, Nyakabanda and Kimisagara, police say.

Another gang, said to be relatively new, was headed by Innocent Romeo Kamanzi and Mubarak Babu Nkurunziza, also among those arrested.

Police say the two were working for a one Damascene, who is yet to be arrested.

Eight other people who were allegedly working on Kamanzi’s instructions were also arrested. Police say they found Kamanzi with a gram of heroin.

Several electronic items, including smart phones, televisions sets, still cameras and home theatres, reportedly stolen from different homes around Kigali, were also recovered from the suspects, it emerged.

“The majority of the consumers arrested are young people aged below 25, and this means that the dealers are destroying the lives and the future of the young people and the future labour force,” Police spokesperson CP Theos Badege said.

He added that suppliers or sellers normally exchange the hard drugs with stolen items, which explains why the suspects were found with stolen electronics.

Badege called for collective efforts at all levels to “expose and report such criminals in communities, and even addicts so they can be rehabilitated.”

Modeste Mbabazi, RIB spokesperson, said that investigations are still ongoing so as 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.”

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