Rwanda National Police (RNP) has arrested two illegal mineral dealers with one tonne of minerals in Ngororero district, Western Province.
The suspects were arrested in Muhororo Sector, Rugogwe Cell in Nganzo Village on 5 July 2021.
According to Police, the apprehended suspects are Theophile Munyentwari aged 44 years old, and one of his employees, known as Simeon Ntegeyimana aged 32.
“They were arrested at about 9 pm as they packed the minerals in sacks and waited for the vehicle to transport them to Muhanga to another illegal mineral dealer, who would buy them,” SSP Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western province said.
Karekezi said that minerals were found at Munyentwari’s home.
Munyentwari disclosed that the minerals are extracted in different concessions in the Ngororero district by groups of illegal miners.
He told police that he bought a kilogram of the mineral at Rwf200 and sold it to his client in Muhanga for Rwf250.
Without revealing a period he has been in the illegal mineral business, Munyentwari, said that he has been in the business for a long time.
Karekezi commended residents for providing information that led to the arrest of Munyentwari and the seizure of the mineral consignment.
The suspects were handed over to Rwanda Investigation Body(RIB), Ngororero district station.
According to Article 54 of the law on mining and quarry operations, any person who undertakes mineral or quarry exploration, exploitation, processing, or trading without a license commits an offense.
Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term between two and six months and a fine of not less than Rwf1 million and not more than Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties.
The court also may order confiscation of any seized minerals in storage, trading, or processing without a license. Police did not reveal the type and price of minerals that have been seized.