Rwanda National Police (RNP) has arrested one person who attempted to smuggle volumes of minerals into the neighboring country, Uganda.
Reuben Musemakweri, 35, was nabbed on February 9 in possession of 1,288kgs of smuggled cassiterite minerals.
Smuggling unlicensed mineral is illegal in Rwanda.
Article 54 of the law N° 58/2018 of 13/08/2018 on mining and quarry operations, states that; any person, who undertakes mineral or quarry exploration, exploitation, processing or trading without a licence, commits an offence.
At the time of his arrest, Musemakweri was allegedly attempting to sneak the minerals into Rwanda from the Uganda, Nyarugina Village, Nyamabuye Cell in Kagogo Sector, the Police said in a statement.
Region Political and Civil Education Officer (RPCEO) for the Northern Region, Superintendent of Police (SP) Alex Ndayisenga, said that the suspect was reported by local residents, who at first thought that he was smuggling second hand clothes.
“Police received information from residents in Nyamabuye reporting Musemakweri, who had sacks of consignments, which they suspected to be second hand clothes and had crossed into Rwanda from Uganda,” SP Ndayisenga said.
“Police swiftly mounted a check point in Nyarugina village where a cab that Musemakweri had hired to transport the minerals was stopped, the driver fled but the suspected smuggler was arrested and minerals seized.”
Musemakweri, the alleged rightful owner of the minerals, said that he was going to sell them to another dealer in City of Kigali.
However, Police thanked residents, who shared information that led to the arrest of the suspect and seizure of the smuggled minerals.
The suspect was handed over to Rwanda Investigation Bureau at Cyanika station for further legal process.
The suspect is expected to appear in a local court to stand trial over Smuggling crimes.
If convicted, the suspect will be liable to imprisonment for a term of 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.
This is followed by a court order to confiscate the seized minerals.
Under article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is also applicable in Rwanda, seized smuggled goods (and automobile) used in smuggling, are auctioned.
In case it involves a driver, he/she can get a fine of up to $5000.