According to Police, separate police operations conducted in various parts of the country on Saturday and Sunday arrested about 40 people said to have been running narcotic drugs businesses.
“Those arrested include traffickers, who were arrested red-handed trying to sneak drugs into the country, motorcyclists who facilitate them to transport the drugs from point-to-point, and those running local retail shops,” Police communication team writes.
The list includes 35 traffickers arrested in Burera District as they tried to cross through the swamp in Rugarama Village of Rwasa Cell in Gatebe Sector, with sacks and boxes of contrabands in different brands, and other assorted narcotics.
Police said, they tied the narcotic luggage with ropes to cross the swamp.
“On Saturday evening at about 4pm, a resident of Rugarama Village reported a group of people that he was very sure would use the swamp from Uganda with drugs,” CIP Hamdun Twizeyimana, the police spokesperson for the Northern region is quoted as saying.
“An operation was conducted and they were arrested at about 3am after they crossed into Rwanda.”
Deadly technics through the swamp
Police say smuggling takes place at night, by using waterproof materials and long ropes that are tied on the traffickers’ legs that help them to pull the luggage.
“Others make backpacks out of sacks, which they carry at the back to make it look like they’re from running errands in their gardens,” Police said.
The smugglers have advanced marine techniques in that they know how to dodge dangerous corners of the swamp.
The police reports indicate that some parts of the swamp are deep, and drug traffickers have marked risky areas, with signs noticeable on visiting the swamp, which guides them on the safe passage.
“Following strengthened awareness, it has increased the flow of information on dealers from the people especially those residing along the borders. Many drug dealers are known and majority have been arrested,” CIP Twizeyimana said.
Burera, at the border with Uganda is a dangerous spot, the main gate for narcotic drugs. According to police figures, 160 drug dealers were arrested within a space of a week last year when the ongoing countrywide awareness against illicit drugs was launched.
Rwanda is already rehabilitating drug abusers especially through the youth rehabilitation centers like Iwawa in Western Province where the youth that were affected with drugs are taken for one year counseling coupled with learning technical skills.
The skills serve them back home to earn a living and integrate the society as rational citizens.
The awareness campaign intends to prevent more drug abuse and break the drugs’ network, police said.
Apparently also connected to the border with Uganda, other two motorcyclists were also intercepted at Rukomo Sector, Nyagatare District transporting assorted contrabands and cannabis.
Two others were arrested in Kamembe with cannabis, while others were arrested in Rubavu after a tip off by a motorcyclist who was transporting him.
The passengers had 7kgs of cannabis in his luggage.
During the last National dialogue, officials said there is an alarming drug abuse with President Kagame saying that the vice is widespread, because the young, adults and the elderly have joined.
He said drug abusers have now diversified to include a form of injections where they share the blood infested with drugs.