The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: 39 Arrested in Police Crackdown

THIRTY NINE people were yesterday arrested in a police anti crime crack down in Runda sector, Kamonyi district.

Most of the people who were arrested were idlers and suspected drug dealers from Nyarunda sector according to Superintendent Hubert Gashagazi, the Police Spokesperson in the Southern Province.

During the crack down, 1,129 pellets of cannabis were discovered in Sarah Umutoniwase's house.

Supt.Gashagazi said that the cannabis was found under 39-year-old Umutoniwase's bed.

She is said to be on the run while her three brothers she was staying with were arrested. Police is on the hunt for her according to the Spokesperson.

The other 38 are all being held at Kayenzi transit centre where they will be undergoing screening according to Police.

This year alone, in a period of 8 months, a total of 165 women were apprehended with cannabis while 106 women were arrested with illicit brew.

If proven guilty, Umutoniwase may be liable to punishment as stated in article 594 of the penal code which says that any person, who consumes, injects, inhales, anoints him/herself with or makes any other unlawful use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of one year to three years and a fine of fifty thousand (50,000) to five hundred thousand (500,000) Rwandan francs.

It also 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 (3) years to five (5) years and a fine of five hundred thousand (500,000) to five million (5,000,000) Rwandan francs.

Statistics from the Police Anti Narcotics Unit show that out of 3,384 people arrested last year over sale and consumption of drugs, 2,566 were aged between 18 and 35, making it 76 per cent.

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