The New Times (Kigali)

5 January 2014

Rwanda: Police Intercept Drug-Packed Vehicle

Police last week have arrested a car carrying four sacks of marijuana on Kibungo-Kigali road in Eastern Province.

A driver of the Toyota car registration number RAB 043P, travelling during the night, is said to have escaped, leaving the car behind.

"Since we have the number plate we will be able to track the owner of the car from Rwanda Revenue Authority's database," said police spokesperson in the Eastern Province, Supt Emmanuel Karuranga.

He said that the police waylaid the car after receiving a tip from residents in Eastern Province's Kirehe District.

"In the past, the police in the area have also arrested drug smugglers trying to take marijuana to Kigali via Kirehe District from Tanzania," he said.

"Some carry it in bags or on motorcycles to escape the police check points and most of the time it is done at night".

Supt Karuranga said that more road blocks, patrols, and other security enforcements have been put in place as key solutions to drug smuggling on the Rwanda-Tanzanian border in the Eastern Province.

The mayor of Kirehe District, Protais Murayire, said that the main challenge in the fight against drugs is that smugglers have created more illicit entrances in areas near the border with Tanzania such as Musaza, Kigarama, Nyamugari, Mahamba, Mpanga and Gahara.

"We used to get three to six cases of drug smuggling in Kirehe, but the trend is dropping," Murayire said.

He urged that more efforts be put in the rehabilitation of drug takers, arguing that as long as the demand for the drug exists, the smugglers will always create more tricks to illicitly bring it into the country.

The Rwanda National Police say that most of the drugs brought inside the country pass by the illicit entrances in districts that are on the country's border with neighbouring countries such as Nyagatare and Gicumbi districts bordering Uganda, and Rubavu district bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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