Couple arrested with 40,000 pellets of cannabis

The Anti- Narcotics Unit (ANU) of the Rwanda National Police (RNP) has detained a couple suspected of being one of the main narcotics traffickers and distributors in the City of Kigali.

Jean Pierre Harerimana alias Kennedy and his wife Zawadi Nyirahabimana were detained on Wednesday in  Gacuriro Cell, Gasabo District’s Kinyinya Sector, with 40,000 pellets of cannabis hidden in fives bundles.

While parading the suspects to the press in Remera on Thursday, Chief Police Inspector (CIP) Marie-Gorette Umutesi, the City of Kigali’s police spokesman, said police were tracking Harerimana from Rubavu to Kigali  through an informer.

Harerimana transferred the narcotics to Kigali in a Toyota Carina E, RAB 096P registration number, which was also impounded.

CIP Umutesi said the couple were detained with two other individuals who said they were motorcyclists, who were the informers of Harerimana from Rubavu to Kigali.

“The Anti-Narcotics Unit had information about this specific vehicle which left Rubavu to Kigali with consignments of cannabis. It is suspected that the trafficker—Harerimana—used the two motorcyclists identified as Abuba Makeke and Ibrahim Mugabe as his spotters, who rode ahead from Rubavu informing him of the whereabouts of security organs, to avoid arrest,” CIP Umutesi said.

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“Through Police informers in Rubavu and Kigali, ANU tracked him to his home in Gacuriro, Kinyinya Sector where he was arrested on arrival together with his wife and the two motorcyclists. Bundles of cannabis were recovered  from the car and in the ceiling of the couple’s house,” she explained.

It is not the first time Harerimana has been detained in drug-related crimes. He is one of the convicts who obtained the presidential pardon late last year after serving three of  his five-year sentence for the same crime.

Harerimana, for his part, informed reporters that he was only recruited to transport the narcotics from Rubavu to  Kigali. “I was to be paid Rwf240, 000 after providing the shipment to the proprietor here in Kigali,” he said, without mentioning the supposed owner of the narcotics.

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“I was given these bundles by a man called Pascal in Rubavu, who traffics cannabis into Rwanda from DR. Congo. The deal was to deliver them to the owners in Kigali, but they escaped after learning that I have been arrested,” Harerimana said. “I have been arrested with my wife, now our two children are going to face the consequences of  our actions; I pray that no other parent encounters such challenging experience.”

CIP Umutesi praised the enhanced public ownership in the fight against narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances through data sharing with the police.

“These are harmful drugs with immediate health effects to users; a security issue destroying young people and undermining the country’s development. Thousands of young people, who are supposed to be in school or the skilled labour-force are in rehabilitation centres, and that means the country is spending a lot of money on them instead of using it for other community development activities,” CIP Umutesi noted.

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She added: “No one should allow such to continue, if you know any drug dealers call the Police; we need to work together to give no room for such criminal individuals to continue poisoning people for their selfish ends.”

The sentence for anyone accused of trafficking, carrying or storing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances has been risen from a maximum of seven years to life imprisonment, as specified in Article 263 of the new penal code. The same paper also offers, upon conviction, a fine ranging from Rwf20 million to Rwf30 million.

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